Geneva, July 24, 2012: UN Secretary, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be in London on Thursday and Friday in conjunction with the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Mr. Ban will take part in the Torch Run on Thursday and will attend the Opening Ceremony on Friday. His Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, is currently in London for a series of events, meetings and activities in the lead-up to the Games. Several other UN senior representatives intend to be present in London as well.
The objectives of the visit of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser include:
• further advocating for the recognition and use of sport and physical activity as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts;
• encouraging and facilitating dialogue and partnerships in this area;
• promoting awareness and observance of the Olympic Truce (the implementation of General Assembly resolution 66/5 entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”, adopted on 17 October 2011).
Activities conducted by Secretary-General Ban while in London include:
• taking part in the Torch Relay on Thursday, 26 July, at 18:00, in front of Westminster Abbey;
• joining UK Foreign Secretary William Hague for an event on the Olympic Truce starting at 15:30 at the Carlton Gardens on Friday, 27 July;
• attending the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening.
Activities conducted by his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace include:
• addressing the participants of the 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting, taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, 25 July, at the Banqueting House, Whitehall;
• accompanying and supporting the Secretary-General throughout his stay in London;
• attending the ceremony where Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, will receive the 2012 GSD Humanitarian Award, to be held at London’s Globe Theatre on 28 July;
• liaising and conducting bilateral meetings with key partners, including senior government and sports officials.
Several other UN officials will be present in London, including:
• UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner;
• UN High Commission for Refugees António Guterres;
• UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
Several UN system entities will conduct activities in connection with the London Games, including:
• the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with the presentation of the documentary “The War on Doping”;
• the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through their involvement in the London Games’ legacy programme “International Inspiration”;
• the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the 3rd edition of the project “Giving is Winning” to collect sports clothing to be sent to designated refugee camps around the world;
• the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) with the project “GIFT Box” to raise awareness of and combat human trafficking;
• the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) with an advocacy event at the London Cultural Olympiad as part of the Africa Utopia Festival at South Bank Street on 28 July.
• the World Health Organization (WHO) through the intervention of their Collaborating Centre (CC), Health Protection Services London (HPA) and the conduct of mass gatherings preparedness and assessment activities. —- UNOSDP/Image © IOC/Richard Juilliart