- The Permanent Mission
- Greece in the UN-Geneva
H.E. the Permanent Representative Ambassador Korka participated in a Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) special session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The Permanent Representative Ambassador Korka participated in a Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) special session which took place in Geneva on the 28th November 2017. More than 30 UN members actively participated at this session at the Palais des Nations.
Sport Integrity Global Alliance
Special Session at the UN in Geneva
Intervention of H.E. Ambassador Anna Korka
Excellencies, Hon. Mr Frattini,
Allow me to start by stressing how much Greece believes in the importance of integrity in sports. As the birthplace of the Olympic games, we cannot but conceive sports quintessentially as a vector of values, a path to individual and collective betterment, and an essential part of any education which would lead to a healthy mind in a healthy spirit. Of course, we are not, nor could be, blind to their evolution and the part they play in today’s society. But given the chord sports strikes in our minds, we strive to ensure that the very value which you have in your title, that of integrity, is respected. It does therefore not come as a surprise that our Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr George Vassiliadis, is amongst your members.
Excellencies, Hon. Mr Frattini,
SIGA’s goals and ambitions concerning the much needed changes in the sports industry are not just noble, but paramount. We therefore consider today’s topic to be highly pertinent, as sports are an ever-expanding cultural phenomenon and global market. In order for them to remain an ideal, but also to keep progressing as such a market, it is crucial to ensure that integrity, transparency, accountability and independent oversight continue to constitute key priorities for all actors involved, both on a national and international level.
Greece, as mentioned earlier, holds the Olympic ideal very dear. My country is therefore leading a relevant initiative in the Human Rights Council, submitting for the first time in 2016 - together with a large core group - a resolution on Promoting Human Rights through sport and the Olympic Ideal. This resolution aims to contribute, through sports, to the atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among all people and nations, as stipulated in the Olympic Charter, and in line with the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play, values that are all threatened by lack of sport integrity.
Greece has also implemented programs in order to instil in the younger generation a vision of sports where integrity is valued: from our “imagine peace” to the “respecting diversity” programs, the key message has always been to teach the respect of the opponent, fair play and tolerance, excluding all forms of discrimination.
Besides international cooperation an education, Greece is making concrete steps to make sure that integrity in sports is a reality. We therefore collaborate with the relevant international authorities in order to face the global scourge of doping. For instance, Greece collaborates with Europol in order to make sure that the sale of illegal performance enhancing products is prosecuted. Greece also made important efforts and has significantly improved its relationship with the World Anti Doping Authority, or WADA, which had been somewhat rocky until a few years ago.
Greece is also actively working against corruption in the world of sports, and our justice system is working hard to ensure that corruption in the world of sports is both prosecuted and deterred. Furthermore, new laws have been adopted, in close cooperation with the relevant international sports authorities, to stem violence and vandalism which cause such great harm to the world of sports.
Excellencies, Hon. Mr Frattini
Greece is indeed actively working on all levels to effectively promote and protect integrity in sports. But, in closing, and as you well know, there is no monopoly in the field of sport integrity. We all need to unite in a cohesive effort, to defend sport integrity otherwise sports will be the ultimate loser, not just as the global entertainment market which it has become, but mostly as the vector of common values and the bridge between peoples and cultures it has always been, both of which our world is in great need of.