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UAE calls for Olympic truce for peace and development

posted on 12/11/2006: 624 views

New York - United Arab Emirates has called for the adoption of Olympic Truce to put an end to wars and conflicts and further urged the UN and relevant regional bodies to intensify efforts to revive this tradition and integrate athletic noble values into education and development programmes and strategies to achieve rapprochement and enhance the spirit of cooperation, tolerance, harmony and love among peoples and local communities.

A statement delivered before the 61st Session of the General Assembly by member of the UAE delegation to the United Nations Sheikha Salman Jasem Alzaabi on the item entitled "Sport for Peace and Development" stressed the UAE believes that "developing sports and physical education could significantly contribute to strengthening national development programs, particularly in the areas of improving public health, bringing local communities together, and to promoting respect for laws among individuals, maintaining safety of public facilities and environment, and in enhancing coherence and cultural diversity among individuals and communities."

"United Arab Emirates, which believes that the Olympic Truce can be an effective tool for ending wars and conflicts, urges the UN and relevant regional organizations to intensify their joint efforts aimed at reviving this tradition and utilizing sport activities and competitions organized during conflicts in stabilizing ceasefires and encouraging belligerents to consider other ways of addressing their conflicts, and to use dialogue and peaceful means for resolving their conflicts instead of resorting to war and destruction," said the statement.

The UAE statement further affirmed "the importance of enhancing international initiatives aimed at promoting the concept of sport for all and incorporating its noble values in the educational and development strategies and programmes in order to enhance interaction and dialogue among different cultures and civilizations, promote mutual interests and advance peace-building efforts." "At the Global level, the international athletic events have contributed to the strengthening of international respect for the traditions and cultures of peoples, and brought peoples closer through the enhancement of the spirit of cooperation, tolerance, harmony and love among them", remarked the statement.

"The United Arab Emirates", said the statement, "welcomes the efforts made by the United Nations to ensure the success of the International Year for Sport and Physical Education 2005, and its other initiatives for cooperation and partnerships with the International Olympic Committee and other organizations which included the establishment of institutional arrangements and funds, and organization of conferences and national seminars, as referred to in the recent report of the Secretary General, and which all aimed at improving the quality of sports events, creating an environment that is conducive to the achievement of development plans, and improvement of the quality of educational, cultural and health-related services for all."

"The UAE stresses the importance of expanding these initiatives to include the extension of financial, economic and moral assistance to developing countries, particularly to the smallest and poorest countries which are affected by wars and conflicts, in order to enable them to fulfil their local needs, eliminate hotspots of poverty, violence and dissension in their societies, rebuild the infrastructure of their sports institutions, and promote sports among their youth, who will thus be able to share their athletic experiences and actively participate in regional and Olympic games".

The UAE also stressed "the importance of reaching an international consensus on a code of good practice for sport and for developing strategic partnership programmes for all stakeholders and sports-related organizations, including sports associations and the private sector, in order to disseminate the ethics of human conduct and the principles of the UN Charter, and support the joint efforts aimed at enhancing the social integration of vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities and the elderly. Moreover, partnership programmes will also help in supporting natural disaster response programs and in combating violence, terrorism, crime, illicit trade in drugs and many other vices." The statement reaffirmed the UAE government's deep conviction "that the youth are the true national wealth".

"The UAE Government has given special attention to the sports sector and to qualifying its male and female youth through incorporating physical education in the primary educational system, and has also supported the student Scout Movement with a view to developing mental, physical and moral skills of students and instilling in them the values necessary for improving their integration into local communities and in environment protection and awareness programmes, especially those related to humanitarian, social and health-related activities and local development."

"Based upon its determination to sharpen and develop its youth skills and capacities throughout the primary education in order to enable them to effectively participate in national development plans at all levels, the UAE Government sought to institutionalize the sports sector, and allocated substantial budgetary resources for financing sports development activities and programs and incorporated them in the social, environmental and health national development programs", remarked the statement.

The UAE Government "also established various associations for sponsoring sports activities, including the General Authority for Youth and Sports, the Sports Federations Council and the National Olympic Committee, which all participate in developing and implementing a strategy aimed at promoting and sponsoring national sports activities, and developing training, refereeing and fair competition", added the statement.

"The (UAE) strategy also aimed at supporting national clubs and unions and their teams, and increased the number of sports clubs established in accordance with the latest international standards, which have significantly contributed to promoting sports among the youth of both sexes, especially among persons with special needs, and enhanced their active participation in most of the national, regional and international competitive sports, including the Olympic Games, which has resulted in the winning of distinguished medals and championships by some of its national clubs and athletes," added the statement.

The statement noted that the UAE has, in the interest of safeguarding the health of its athletes, also signed the Copenhagen Declaration on fighting the use of stimulants during sports activities." The UAE statement further underscored "utilizing sport activities and competitions organized during conflicts to stabilize ceasefires and encourage belligerents to consider other ways of addressing their conflicts, and to use dialogue and peaceful means for resolving their conflicts instead of resorting to war and destruction." (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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