UN Special Adviser on Sport promotes Peace

Geneva, Mar 27, 2013: The UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, this week participated in the Legacy Forum of the Olympic Truce event organized by the UK FCO in London. This was then followed by his participation in the opening events of the CISM Winter World Military Games in Annecy, France.

In relation to the meeting in London hosted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and organized jointly together with the International Office, with the participation of representatives from the Governments and organizers of the future Olympic host countries, Russia, Brazil and Republic of Korea, Mr. Lemke said:

“The power of sport is an important resource that we can harness with the aim of promoting peace and stability at a global level. The Olympic Truce provides the opportunity for conflict zones to set aside their differences and come together under the same peaceful terms. The level of unanimity in the adoption of the Olympic Truce Resolution for the London Games highlighted the importance and potential of the Olympic Truce and demonstrated the belief that, although it cannot create peace by itself, sport is a social and cultural phenomenon that can contribute to promote peace and positive social changes.”

The Olympic Truce strongly encourages different communities and groups to celebrate common interest through sport, culture, education or academic participation. The UK brought the Olympic Truce ideals to life in the run up to, and during, London 2012 through a global program of over 80 Olympic Truce activities, with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the UN Office on Sport for Development (UNOSDP).

At an event in the connection with the Opening of the 2nd CISM world Winter Games taking place in Annecy, France, organized by the Council of International Military Sport (CISM), Mr. Lemke provided a key note address at an event organized for the Heads of Missions from the delegations participating in the Games. Mr. Lemke said:

“The UN peacekeeping operation in Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire, has been successfully using sport to support the peace process in the country. On my advice a football pitch for the local population has been constructed in 2009 by UN operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). Football plays a very important role in this country and is a way to raise awareness of youth and health issues. On one hand we try to strengthen dialogue between countries in conflict through sports diplomacy and on the other hand we support projects using sport to foster reconciliation and to break down prejudices.”

CISM represents 133 Nations/member countries, and is also dedicated to supporting all armed forces from all nations. As one of the largest multi disciplinary sport organizations in the world, the CISM is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN).


Mr. Wilfried Lemke, of Germany, was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace on 11 April 2008, serving on a $1 per year salary with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. In this role, the Special Adviser aims to reach out further to the world of sport and more systematically and coherently encourage the use of sport the pursuit of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peace-building efforts. Mr. Lemke succeeded Adolf Ogi, former President of the Swiss Confederation, who had served as Special Adviser since 2001. —- UNOSDP

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