On 26th May 2010, H.E. Ms Isabelle Picco, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, succeeded her Swiss counterpart, Ambassador Peter Maurer, by taking on the co-chairmanship of the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace in New York.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Mr Wilfried Lemke, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace and H.E. Mr Ghazi Jooma, Tunisia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations who will continue to hold the co-chairmanship for the Southern countries.
The Group of Friends of Sport, made up of 43 United Nations member states Australia, Austria, Azerbaidjan, Bahrain, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, Monaco, Norway, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain,Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinity and Tobago, Tunisia, the United States of America and Zambia. was implemented at the instigation of the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Tunisia in January 2005 as part of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education.
Its members pledge to promote the integration of sport into the policies and strategies of the United Nations and its various partners, private and public alike, acknowledging its contribution towards development and peace, particularly in warring nations and post-conflict countries, or those affected by natural disasters.
For the Principality, this co-chairmanship naturally reflects the ongoing commitment of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and his efforts to make sport considered as a means “of meeting others in a spirit of mutual respect, tolerance and loyalty International Peace and Sport Forum, 26th November 2009
Left to Right
- Mr Wilfried Lemke, Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace
- H.E. Mr Peter Maurer, Ambassador, Switzerland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
- H.E. Ms Isabelle Picco, Ambassador, the Principality of Monaco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
- H.E. Mr Ghazi Jomaa, Ambassador, Tunisia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations”.
Since it joined the UN, Monaco has always supported resolutions calling for the observation of the Olympic truce and placing the virtues of sport in the spotlight, in particular in the educational and health sectors. More recently, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Principality joined forces with the countries which have chosen to combat racial discrimination during sports events.
Within the next few weeks, the friends of sport will have an opportunity to be heard by Ambassador Picco during negotiations concerning the declaration of the next summit in September which will examine the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. The Ambassador will also conduct the consultation process with a view to negotiating the United Nations bi-annual resolution devoted to sport.
H.E. Ms Picco wished to pay tribute, on behalf of the Group, to H.E. Mr Maurer, who is to fulfil his new role as the Secretary of State for the Swiss Confederation, for the ongoing 5-year period during which his leadership has led to the inclusion of sport on the UN agenda.
Sport, a vehicle for development and peace, is to be developed even further with the anticipated contribution of the International Olympic Committee, which has benefitted since October 2009 from the status of observer within the General Assembly.
Ambassador Picco has said she is determined to continue the work of her predecessor with the same rigour and to increase cooperation efforts between the various players involved in sport.