United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO Director-General meets with the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, met with Mr John Fahey, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Wednesday 25 June last to discuss joint activities being undertaken to promote anti-doping efforts in sport at the international level, and opportunities for closer cooperation in this important area.

Also present at the meeting was Mr David Howman, Director-General of WADA.

Mr Matsuura expressed his satisfaction concerning the many successful projects developed within the framework of the UNESCO-WADA Memorandum of Understanding, signed in June 2006. He went on to thank the two representatives of WADA for their organization’s continuous efforts to encourage Member States to adhere to the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport, currently ratified by 86 countries.

“UNESCO is very pleased with the progress achieved since the entry into force of the Convention on 1 February 2007. This would not have been possible without WADA’s continuous support. While building on this success, and on the rapid rhythm of ratifications, we must continue to focus on the harmonization of anti-doping rules and policies worldwide, anti-doping education and prevention programmes, and the provision of assistance to governments in the development of national anti-doping programmes”, he stated.

Mr Matsuura also paid tribute to WADA and to International Olympic Committee for the amendment they made to the World Anti-Doping Code. The new rules state so that bids for the Games of the Olympiad and the Winter Games, or any major sporting events, will only be accepted from governments who have adhered to the Convention.

Referring to the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, formally launched on 23 May last, the Director-General indicated that least developed or low income States Parties would very soon be invited to apply for assistance to implement anti-doping programmes consistent with the International Convention against Doping in Sport. “In November this year, a pan-African conference on anti-doping will be jointly organized by the Government of South-Africa, UNESCO and WADA in Cape Town,” he said. “This will provide an important opportunity to promote the Fund, and for African States, in particular, to benefit from international support for the development of legislation, regulation, policies and administrative practices in the field of anti-doping”.

Mr Matsuura, Mr Fahey and Mr Howman spoke of the importance of education in the fight against doping in Sport. They agreed, in particular, to cooperate closely in the provision of education programmes, and to utilize UNESCO’s education mandate to obtain maximum effect in this regard. “Ultimately, success will be dependant on providing quality advice to young people, and building resilience among the next generation of athletes by fostering strong values and promoting sport ethics”, concluded Mr Matsuura.

“The formal relationship between UNESCO and WADA continues to operate effectively. This partnership remains crucial and there are a number of opportunities to extend it further”, emphasized Mr Fahey.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 085-2008 -  Publication Date: 26-06-2008

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