Grand Opening of the 2011 IPC General Assembly

Beijing, Dec 09, 2011: Hosted by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), organized by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), the opening ceremony of the 2011 IPC General Assembly and Conference was staged at the China National Convention Center in the Beijing Olympic Park on December 8, 2011. Liu Qi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the Beijing Municipal CPC Committee and Chairman of Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and IPC President Sir Philip Craven attended and addressed the opening ceremony.

Present at the opening ceremony were Liu Peng, Director of the General Administration of Sport of China and Chairman of Chinese Olympic Committee; Guo Jinlong, Mayor of Beijing and Executive Chairman of BODA; and Wang Xinxian, Vice Chairman, President of China Disabled Persons’ Federation.

Liu Qi said that the International Paralympic Committee has dedicated itself to the development of the Paralympic movement. It has transmitted Paralympic values like “courage, determination, inspiration, and equality”, and realized its goal of “creating conditions for Paralympic athletes’ outstanding athletic achievements, while inspiring and invigorating the world.”

It is through this that the Committee has made important contributions to the advancement of human civilization, and won the respect and support of the world.

Liu pointed out that caring for those with disabilities is a traditional virtue of the Chinese nation, and an important mark of society and civilization’s advancement.

The Chinese government places a great degree of importance on the development of the governmental undertaking for disabled persons, and has included this project in the economic and social development plans of the nation. The Chinese government is dedicated to serving the disabled community and building a social security program, thereby greatly improving the right to live and develop for disabled persons in China.

Liu Qi stressed that greatly developing the cause for disabled persons is an important task in implementing the strategy of a “Humanistic Beijing, High-tech Beijing, and Green Beijing”, as well a crucial measure promotion and implementation of Beijing’s spirit of “patriotism, innovation, inclusion, and social morals”.

In the future, Beijing will implement the Beijing Development Plan for Disabled Persons during the period of “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” as an essential part of the positive development of inclusion, and better perfect the legislation and regulations which guarantee the development of the cause for disabled persons.

Beijing will also encourage and support the participation of disabled persons in athletic sports and fitness events, promoting the development of disabled persons’ rehabilitation, education, culture, social security, and other projects, thus ensuring that disabled persons will be able to enjoy the latest results of Beijing’s social development.

Sir Craven said in his address that it’s great to be back here in Beijing, a city that delivered so many legacies following the best ever Paralympic Games in 2008.One of the latest legacies can be found just a few minutes away from here next to the Birds Nest stadium.

The huge cauldron, which was lit so famously by Hou Bin, now sits outside the stadium. Next to it is a huge wall listing the names of every single medal winner from the 472 events of the 2008 Paralympic Games. It’s a stunning tribute and legacy to the performances of all those athletes who took part in the Beijing Games and people could say it’s the Paralympic Family’s Great Wall of China.

As part of the IPC’s Strategic Plan, IPC want to increase the number of people participating in Paralympic Sport at all levels through the work of the Agitos Foundation in conjunction with all the members. Already IPC have undertaken a number of initiatives in countries around the world and through China’s generosity IPC will be able to continue this excellent work.

The 3-day 2011 IPC General Assembly includes the IPC General Assembly, IPC Governing Board meeting, etc. There are over 300 foreign guests from about 110 organizations of 100 plus countries and regions over five continents to be here together in Beijing with the Paralympic Family, inclusive of IPC GB members, representatives of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), International Organizations of Sports for the Disabled (IOSDs), International Paralympic Sport Federation (IPSFs), other International Federations (IFs) and Regional Organizations (ROs), observers and so on.

At the opening ceremony, BODA donated to the Agitos Foundation. During the Assembly, IPC will grant the Paralympic Sports Awards, the Paralympic Media Awards and the Paralympic Scientific Award to the international organizations which make outstanding distributions at the Awards Gala.

China Foundation for Disabled Persons (CFDP) and BODA staged the “Love and Truth” Photography Exhibition. Chinese folk artistic show and public performance were also presented on site.

The IPC, i.e. the International Paralympic Committee, is a global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its main mission is to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world, to guarantee and supervise the organization of successful Paralympic Games, and to support and encourage educational and rehabilitating activities that contribute to the development and promotion of the Paralympic Movement. The General Assembly (GA) is the supreme governing body of the IPC. The GA meets once every two years, and has run a total of 14 sessions so far.

The successful Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games delivered many precious legacies in accessible city environment, social humanistic environment and service facilities and teams for persons with a disability, etc. After the Games, Beijing carries on and spreads the Paralympic legacies as the key contents of capital building and the development of the cause of persons with a disability, and makes new breakthroughs in advancing the humanistic Beijing and building Beijing into a world city with Chinese characteristics.

With the support of the Beijing Municipal Government, BODA bided and won the right to organize the 2011 IPC General Assembly. Holding this Assembly provides another platform for showing the great achievements of the China’s cause of persons with a disability, even in Beijing to the outside world.

Attendees at the opening ceremony also include IPC Vice President Greg Hartung and Chief Executive Office Xavier Gonzalez, as well as leaders of relevant departments of the country and Beijing City such as Tang Xiaoquan, Li Shixiang, Wu Shixiong, Liu Jingmin, Ding Xiangyang, Wang Wei, Jiang Xiaoyu and Sun Kanglin.

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