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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Director-General runs the UNESCO Friendship Run

Director-General runs the UNESCO Friendship Run
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On Saturday, 14 April 2007 the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, ran the 5.2 kilometres that make up the UNESCO Friendship Run as he has regularly done in past years since its launch in April 2002.

The UNESCO Friendship Run is organised every spring in affiliation with the Paris Marathon and in cooperation with Paris City Government. It started at 8:30 a.m. at UNESCO Headquarters, and ended at Avenue Foch, where breakfast was offered to all participants.

Moments before the start, from the podium at the start line, the Director-General welcomed all the runners and expressed his satisfaction at seeing such a large and diverse group of people of all ages. Mr Matsuura recalled that practicing a sport is a world-wide social phenomenon which transcends racial, religious and cultural barriers. “Sport brings people together, is based on universal values and promotes wellbeing. It is an important aspect of education and it allows us to value our cultural heritage. In fact, safeguarding and promoting traditional games and sports are of essential importance for the respect of diverse cultural identities,” he stated.

The Director-General also emphasized that “participating in this run symbolizes sharing the effort while adhering to ethical values and fair-play.” In this regard, UNESCO is at the forefront of the efforts to formalize global anti-doping rules, policies and guidelines as the International Convention against Doping in Sport entered into force last 1 February.

“There will be neither winner nor loser in this mini marathon. But we will all be happy to arrive at the finish line together. I start among the first, and I am certain that I will arrive among the last. What is important is not to win, but to take part all together in this effort,” concluded Mr Matsuura.

This year the UNESCO Friendship Run assembled roughly 2 thousand participants from all over the world. The Director-General took part in the run along with 60 other staff members, interns, consultants, members of permanent delegations, friends and families of UNESCO.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 056-2007
  • 14-04-2007
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