On Tuesday FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter paid a visit to the Lausanne headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), of which he is a member. Accompanied by a number of his IOC colleagues and the organisation’s President Jacques Rogge, Blatter met there with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Together they exchanged views on existing relations between the UN and the world of sport. Specific examples of the numerous links between the two were discussed, such as the recent UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) programme in Namibia, and the awareness campaign 'Together We Can Stop HIV and AIDS', which was launched at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
“In running the world’s most popular sport, which is enjoyed by over a billion people across the globe, FIFA’s responsibilities go far beyond football itself,” said Blatter after the meeting. “That is why we have been working with a number of United Nations agencies and programmes since as far back as 1999.”
Ban Ki-Moon then took the opportunity to thank the IOC and the representatives of the international federations attending the meeting along with FIFA for the productive support they have given over the last few years.
Far from resting on their laurels, however, the two international organisations expressed their desire to strengthen ties and engage in even closer cooperation.
“As a multi-sports organisation, the IOC has the moral duty to put sport at the service of humanity,” commented Rogge. “We are proud to be participating in the international community’s efforts to bring the Millennium Development Goals to fruition, and we are delighted to be able to continue with that work in 2011.”