Washington, D.C., June 25, 2015: The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and the Organization of American States (OAS) has announced today plans to establish a joint Centre of Excellence for Major Sporting Events and Sustainable Development to assist countries across the Americas maximise the economic impact and legacy of major sporting events taking place in the region.
Announced at the OAS-ICSS regional conference being held in Washington D.C., the joint Centre will strengthen understanding and capacity-building around major sporting events and will aim to become a regional focal point for policy and decision makers from different sectors across the region by gathering and developing new ideas about legacy and the sustainability issues currently affecting sport.
As part of the joint commitment by the OAS and ICSS to enhance and safeguard major sport events, the centre will also provide technical assistance and support to enhance the economic and social benefits of major sporting events for host nations and the wider region.
In particular, the OAS and ICSS will offer information, training and best practice across a range of areas, including major event and legacy planning and long-term sustainability and economic development around major sporting events.
It will also provide further information about international funding for policy projects that benefit the sport sector and major events and will offer access to the ICSS’s extensive research and academic resources, as well as its global network of sport safety, security and integrity experts.
Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said:
“Since 2012, the ICSS and OAS have been working together to safeguard sport across the Americas and establishing this new centre will be an important step forward for major events across the region.
“Over the next few years, the Americas will host some of the world’s largest and most spectacular major sport events. Events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup currently taking place in Canada, as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 will provide a significant economic boost to the region. However, many major international events have been unable to translate this into longer-term economic benefits for their country once an event has finished.
“Through this new centre of excellence, the ICSS hopes that this will provide governments, CEOs and policy-makers across the Americas with an important platform that will foster new ideas and ensure future major sporting events in the region deliver a greater economic and social legacy.”
Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, said:
“There is no one country that has all the answers on how to improve the security of its citizens against the threats of terrorism. However, by promoting better communication and cooperation, we can create an integrated strategy to ensure better security in sporting activities, which has positive effects that go well beyond the event itself. Ensuring that sport supports development, equality and social justice is a task we all share.”
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS)
The Organization of American States is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889. Today it brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere. In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 69 states, as well as to the European Union (EU).
The Organization was established in order to achieve for its member states “an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.”
The OAS uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes. The Organization’s four main pillars – democracy, human rights, security, and development – support each other and are intertwined through political dialogue, inclusiveness, cooperation, and legal and follow-up instruments that provide the OAS with the tools to maximize its work in the Hemisphere. —- Will Shand