The State of Qatar reiterated that it does not tolerate corruption in sport or any aspects of life and seeks to promote transparency and accountability in all its aspects and at all levels.
This came at a special event organized by the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations in cooperation with the Permanent Missions of the Russian Federation, Italy and Colombia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Participants in the event shed the light on corruption in sport as something new, calling for a comprehensive response to the risks of this phenomenon at the international, regional and national levels, building on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly. The basis for this special event was the International Conference on Safeguarding Sport from Corruption held in Vienna in June, 2018. The participants also sought to discuss current issues with a possible plan to protect sport from corruption.
Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN H E Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani said in her speech during the event that the State of Qatar ranks first among countries in preventing and combating corruption both locally and internationally.
In this context, H E Sheikha Alya said that the State of Qatar’s hosting of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), a non-governmental organization established in 2010 to promote and enhance the protection and safety of sport security.
The ICSS has raised awareness of the need to fight corruption in the region, and serves as a training and exchange of experiences center through strategic partnerships.
She also noted the partnership between the Centre, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and a number of institutions, in order to launch the anti-corruption initiative, adding that this is a comprehensive tool in multiple languages to support universities and to integrate anti-corruption into their curricula. This initiative, H E said, is of a particular importance as it targets young people interested in sports. The State of Qatar uses sport as an essential tool to empower both young females and males to develop their skills to better meet the challenges of everyday life and promote the culture of law, she said.
H E also noted the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award which was established by Qatar in 2016 and was named after Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, stressing that the award seeks to review the approach and ways to combat corruption in all over the world.
Her Excellency stressed that these achievements are noticeable and not coincidence, but are the result of the vision of HH the Amir, who has worked hard during the past years to develop the sports infrastructure in the State of Qatar and to ensure sports safety with the assurance that all sports are characterized by security, equality and inclusiveness.
In this regard, HE Sheikha Alya referred to the Aspire Academy, which was founded in 2004 with the goal to provide a vibrant learning environment and a multicultural experience to develop the athletic and academic potential of athletes.
She underlined that the graduates of the Academy are not only athletes, but are future leaders who will work to prevent and combat corruption in all its forms and manifestations and to ensure that all Qataris are confident that Qatari sports will remain transparent, fair, safe and inclusive.
Ambassador at Large for International Anti-Corruption Cooperation at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Avetisyan; Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Stefano Stefanile; Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, Andres Rugeles; Director of the Division for Inclusive Social Development within UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Daniela Bas; and Coordinator of UN Program on Drugs and Crime and on Fighting Corruption and Crime in Sport, Ronan O’Laoire participated in the event.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Delegation of the State of Qatar to the United Nations also hosted, on its own initiative, the meeting of the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace.
Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN H E Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani welcomed the participants to the special meeting and stressed the strong relationship between sport and the goals of development and peace.
In this context, HE Sheikha Alya said that the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), a non-profit organisation based in Doha, have recently signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on issues related to the prevention and combating of terrorism, particularly in relation to the protection of vulnerable targets in the context of major sporting events.
Her Excellency expressed her great satisfaction at the selection of the State of Qatar to commemorate the United Nations Day ceremony on October 24, with the support of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), Doha Film Institute (DFI) and the foreign liaison office with the participation of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
She also noted the State of Qatar’s participation in hosting the high-level event on “Promoting the Power of Sport to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism” which was jointly organized by the United Nations and the UNOCT, in which participants sought to empower youth skills and life values that would prevent their involvement in violent extremism and give them a positive outlook for the future.
Permanent Representative of the Principality of Monaco to the UN Ambassador Isabelle Pico, who co-chair the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace together with the State of Qatar, participated in the meeting, along with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov and Football for Peace co-founder Kashif Siddiqi.