UNESCO takes part in Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay
On 27 October in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, the UNESCO representative in the Russian Federation Mr Dendev Badarch participated in Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. The Sochi 2014 Relay, the longest national relay-race in the history of the Olympic Games, will cover 65000 kilometers, passing 2900 cities and villages and including all 83 Russian regions. The Olympic Flame will go through hands of 14 thousand torchbearers and 30 thousand volunteers. It will be carried through Russia’s cities and towns by people of different age, nationality, political views, complexion and physical abilities, united by their urge towards peace, mutual understanding, friendship, honesty and pure intentions.
Offered by the International Olympic Committee, Mr Badarch represented UNESCO, the leading UN agency in the physical education and sports area. UNESCO renders governments, non-government organizations and experts assistance in discussing and solving problems regarding physical education and sport helping the members states to develop and to strengthen politics in this sphere. Moreover, the Organization plays part of the secretariat of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS).UNESCO believes that physical education and sport are not only a tool for health and physical development, but also constitute a major means for acquiring values necessary for social adhesion and intercultural dialogue.
An important part of UNESCO’s sport programme is fighting against doping. Doping in sport undermines moral and ethical principles of the sports movement for those who use it. UNESCO takes an active part in the fight against doping, trying to save honest and fair sport and protect young people who practice sports. Without doubt, a very important merit of the Organization is the development and unanimous adoption of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport (2005).
“I think that this is symbolic that I was invited to be a torchbearer in Saint-Petersburg, the city of world culture where unique sites of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List are concentrated, the city of our numerous partners in education, science and culture areas. You know, when I hold in my hands the torch that symbolizes purity of intentions, urge towards perfection in pure competition and also peace and friendship, I understand that these are the ideals that our Organization is based on. UNESCO Constitution starts with very important words that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”. I am convinced that the Olympic Games purpose exactly these objects. Even in Ancient Greece this was the time when all the wars and all the conflicts stopped,” said Mr Badarch in his interview.
During the Field Offices Directors’ meeting held on 4 November 2013 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Mr Badarch officially handed over the Olympic Torch to the UNESCO Director General Ms Irina Bokova.
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