More than 20 States have ratified the International Convention against Doping in SportJust one year after it was adopted unanimously by UNESCO’s General Conference, the International Convention against Doping in Sport, has been ratified by more than 20 States.
Upon receipt of the 24th instrument of ratification*, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, declared: “I am very happy to note that many countries have responded favourably to UNESCO’s pressing exhortation, and to the expectations of the international community. We are aware of the fact that the impact of doping is not restricted to concerned athletes or to sport alone, it is a problem that affects entire societies and whose effects are increasingly insidious. More than ever, the mobilization of governments, sports federations, the Olympic movement and civil societies is in order. We cannot lose any more time.
“In preparing the Convention, governments from all over the world, wished to reach agreement to bring the fight against doping in sport into the realm of international law. This instrument is needed to harmonize standards, give full force to the World Anti-Doping Code, and to ensure that athletes have the benefit of an equitable framework for the practice of their activity. Once again, I therefore call on Member States to take all necessary measures to enable us to reach, as soon as possible, the 30 ratifications required for the Convention to enter into force. We are missing six signatures, we are very near our goal, but it is urgent,” added Mr Matsuura.
The Convention will enter into force one month after the 30th instrument of ratification will have been deposited. This will open the way to convene the first session of the Conference of States Parties at UNESCO Headquarters. During this session, changes to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List will be adopted. States Parties will also elect a Bureau, adopt rules of procedure and create a Voluntary Contribution Fund for the elimination of doping in sport.
As part of efforts to promote the fight against doping, educate the athletes of tomorrow in the ethics of sport and consolidate the necessary link between education, prevention, ethics and human rights, the tennis player, Justine Hénin-Hardenne, will be named UNESCO Champion for Sport in an official ceremony scheduled to take place at the Organization’s Headquarters on 14 December 2006. “I welcome the fact that this exemplary champion accepted to place her reputation at the service of the struggle against doping in sport and of education about the risks it makes young generations take,” declared Mr Matsuura.
* As of 24 October 2006, the 24 signatories of the Convention were (in chronological order): Sweden, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Monaco, Iceland, Cook Islands, Nigeria, Latvia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Nauru, Seychelles, Mauritius, Lithuania, Jamaica, China, Bahamas, Peru, Mozambique, Spain, Romania, Niger.