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32nd United Nations Inter-Agency Games



In 1968 the "Commission des Sports de l'Association du Personnel de l'UNESCO" organized an omnisports meeting in Paris against a team from UN Geneva. Both organizations continued organizing omnisports meetings in 1969 and 1970.

In 1971, UN Geneva organised the first multi-institutional sports competition in Champéry, Switzerland. Ten organizations of the UN System with offices in Europe participated. The Games included the following disciplines: chess, football, table tennis, tennis and men's volleyball.

Thus the United Nations Inter-Agency Games were initiated and the principle of alternating the venue and the responsibility for the organization of the Games among the UN organizations in Geneva, Rome, Vienna and Paris were adopted. General Rules for the Games were adopted and a Control Commission established to assure their adherence.

Over the years, the Games have developed from 5 disciplines and some 350 participants to 13 disciplines and more than 1000 participants.

At the outset the purpose of the Games was modestly defined as " to enable the staff members of the Agencies and organizations of the United Nations family to know each other through sports meetings and thereby to improve mutual understanding and working relations " (Article 1 of the General Rules).

The significance and merit of the Games for the UN organizations and their staff members have truly gained momentum and have in principle been recognized in the annual opening messages of the heads of the Host organizations. On the occasion of the 20th Games held in Baden, Austria in 1991, Mr. D. L. Siazon Jr., Director General of UNIDO stated in his opening message:

"I believe the Games provide more than a pleasurable diversion from the daily routine, more than an opportunity for staff to pit their respective skills against those of their colleagues, and more than simply a display of physical or intellectual prowess, impressive as that may be. Bringing together both participants and supporters from numerous agencies, the Games present a unique reminder to us that we are all part of the United Nations family. Against a current background of world-wide turmoil, our horizons must stretch beyond the four walls of our own organizations. The co-operation, solidarity, teamwork and striving for excellence which are the hallmarks of true sportsman, must also be apparent in our day-to-day lives."

The Geneva based UN organizations established the "Commission Inter- Organisations des Sports"(CIOS) which co-ordinates the participation of their staff members in the Games and often assists the Host organization in organizing the Games whenever it is Geneva's turn within the four-year cycle.

In 2001 the IAG were organized by ITU and they were held, for the first time in a country other than the traditional ones (Austria, France, Italy or Switzerland). It was held in Alicante, Spain.

With the same spirit of alternating the venue of the IAG in countries other than the ones mentioned above, the IAG were organized in Antalya, Turkey in 2002.

In 2003, the 31st Edition of IAG was organized by IAEA. The venue was Sousse, Tunisia. However, due to the world-wide critical situation and the war in Irak, the Inter-Agency Games were first postponed and then definitely cancelled.

In 2004, the 32nd Edition of the IAG are going to be held in Aix-les-Bains (France) from 29 April - 3 May 2004. They are organized by UNESCO.

Updated: 15/02/2004 by UNESCO IAG Committee


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Contact: UNESCO Committee IAG 2004

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