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UN launches international program to enhance security of major sporting events

UN launches international program to enhance security of major sporting events
February 6, 2020

Mindful of threats to major sporting events around the world, the United Nations and its partners have this week launched a ‘Global Programme on the Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE)’.

Released at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA, the program was released during a two-day stakeholder meeting, which gathered over 100 of high-level representatives from member nations, international and regional organisations as well as the International Olympic Committee, national Olympic committees, sport federations and private companies.

In a statement accompanying the program launch, a UN spokesperson advised “in the last few decades, many terrorist attacks have been perpetrated in public places against soft targets.

“Attacks against sports events are particularly hideous as sports have historically played a significant role in the dissemination of positive values across civilizations and cultures, especially for young people.”

Explaining that the new program aims to address this threat, Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), stated “through our joint program we will focus on the exchange of information and best practices, and on sharing resources and facilitating partnerships.

“We will explore how to develop and implement operational collaboration between Member States, and undertake joint initiatives with private stakeholders.”

Aimed at strengthening the protection of major sporting events through enhanced international cooperation and sustainable security approaches, while promoting the values of sport as a powerful means to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism, the initiative is led by UNOCT, in partnership with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and in consultation with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).

Welcoming the initiative, International Centre for Sport Security Chief Executive, Massimiliano Montanari added that “protecting major sporting events means protecting opportunities for international dialogue and socio-economic development. Through the Global Program, we will promote sustainable approaches to security, ways to preserve the legacy of major sporting events as a common good of the international community and advanced policies grounded on the principle of shared responsibility.”

The program is supported by the State of Qatar, the United Nations Peace and Development Fund (UNPDF – funded by the People’s Republic of China) and the Republic of Korea.

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Image courtesy of Reddawn.

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