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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Director-General opens the Second Session of Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sports

On 26 October 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, opened at Paris Headquarters the Second session of the Conference of parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sports (26-28 October 2009).

The Convention was unanimously adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference on 19 October 2005.

The opening ceremony, held in the presence of the Director-General elect, Mrs Irina Bokova, was marked by speeches by Viacheslav Fetisov, Chairman of the First session of the Conference of Parties and UNESCO Champion for Sport, Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sport for Development and Peace; John Fahey, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency; Arne Lundqvist, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission; and Miguel Sagarra, Vice-President of the International Paralympic Committee.

“Today”, said Mr Matsuura in his introductory remarks, “I am proud to report a continued high level of ratification, adoption, acceptance, or adhesion to the Convention over the last two years. The number of States Parties has more than tripled since the First Session of the Conference. It now stands at 128”. “The number of States Parties present today bears testimony to the successful effort put forward, not only by the Secretariat, but also by partners such as WADA, international sport organizations, intergovernmental sports organizations, governments and regional organizations”, he added.

Emphasizing that the Conference would be examining the administration of the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, created by UNESCO in application of the Convention, the Director-General expressed his gratitude to the Member States who had made contributions to the Fund, which now disposes of US$ 2.2 million.“ The Fund allows UNESCO to help those States Parties in need to establish effective anti-doping programmes. Support is available for projects focusing on anti-doping education, policy advice and capacity-building. I encourage States Parties to take advantage of all of the possibilities presented by the Fund”, noted Mr Matsuura.

The Director-General also underlined that the Conference would be examining the electronic system set up by UNESCO to monitor the implementation of the Convention. “It is important to monitor how the Convention is implemented by Governments. To that end, the Secretariat has developed an electronic monitoring system (Anti-Doping Logic) in close cooperation with other interested parties (…). I call on all States Parties to fill in the electronic questionnaire to help develop a global monitoring tool. This will not only enable us to follow the Convention’s implementation. It will also provide us with guidance on the way forward for States Parties, and reinforce the investment of the Fund”, he said.

Finally, the Director-General emphasized the central importance of education in the fight against doping in sport. “By identifying needs, by celebrating good practices, by mobilizing internal and external educational resources, UNESCO brings real added value to this strategic field for the prevention of doping in sport. If we really want to fulfil the Convention’s stated ambition, we need to focus on the young people of today and tomorrow. We must ensure that the positive values of sport in terms of health and fair play are duly recognized and promoted”, he underlined.

“As Director General of UNESCO, I am proud that my Organization could provide the mechanism for international cooperation and harmonization in the fight against doping in sport. I truly believe that the cooperation shown by governments and non-governmental organizations, and the shared investment in doping prevention, provides an excellent example of good governance for the international community”, concluded Mr Matsuura.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 217-2009
  • 27-10-2009
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