Nearly 700 international delegates took part in the opening ceremony of the 6th Peace and Sport International Forum, the first to take place outside the cradle of the association, Monaco.

Sochi, Russia, 1 November 2012 – Nearly 700 delegates from all around the world attended the opening ceremony of the 6th Peace and Sport International Forum, which opened today in Sochi Russian Federation. Numerous political decision-makers, sports champions and members of civil society took part in the event. 

Speeches were made by the Russian distinguished politicians, His Excellency Yury Trutnev Adviser to President Putin, Dmitry Kozak Deputy Prime Minister and Alexander Zhukov, Chairman of the Russian National Olympic Committee. They welcomed delegates and expressed their pride, on behalf of the Russian Federation, to host the first Peace and Sport International Forum to be held out of Monaco. Alexander Zhukov particularly emphasized the importance of sport in the lives of Russians and the role that he wanted sport to play for the good of society. A strong message from a nation that is preparing to welcome the entire world to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the FIFA football World Cup in cities throughout the country in 2018. 

In an animated speech delivered with enthusiasm and humour, Russian sports superstar, «Tsarina» Yelena Isinbayeva, World Champion record-breaking pole-vaulter and Champion for Peace, said:

“During the three days of this International Forum, these two words, sport and peace, will be spoken in association with one another. I want to express my joy about this and I applaud it. And I also want to express my immense pride in speaking to you, in Sochi, in this country that is my country. Russia.”

“Through my medals, my records, my success, sport has made me a role-model. I’m happy and proud about this. But I also am aware of the responsibility that comes with this status. Being a role-model is not only a privilege. As role-models, we need to do everything possible to give back to society everything it has given to us. We have received a lot. It’s for us, now, to give. It’s for me, now, to help improve the world around me. Through sport and thanks to sport.”

His Excellency Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia, addressed the opening Ceremony of the Peace and Sport Forum for the second year running.

” Sport has the potential to include each and every aspect of society, each and every person, and each and every child. It brings together man, women and children of different ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds. It includes and encourages the different, the people with disabilities. One recent positive example from my country, the Republic of Macedonia, is our champion Olivera Nakovska-Bikova. She who won the golden medal and established a world record in air pistol shooting at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Her success gives hope to many other competitors.

Sport is the means, peace is the ends. Sports promote reconciliation, especially in multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual societies. It is an inclusive, not exclusive human activity. Sport implies participation, instead of isolation.

As Andre Agassi said: “When you change a child’s future, you help change the world…for the better.” We must do our best to change the world for our children.”

Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport gave a heartfelt speech:

“Organizing this sixth International Forum away from our roots heralds the start of a new era for Peace and Sport. A more global era, where our message, sustainable peace through sport will be heard further afield.”

“Today, whilst our organization celebrates its sixth year of existence, we can look back over the ground covered with certain pride: the ideals of yesterday have become reality. A global community of peace through sport is beginning to take shape. By hosting our Forum, Sochi has given us the opportunity to expand our horizons.”

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco addressed the audience last:

“In these times of deep economic and social crisis, it is our duty to meet around the same table to together build an enriched world. It is our responsibility, today more than ever before, to find solutions to the conflicts and tensions that divide our planet, through dialogue and communication.”

We are meeting in Sochi for this sixth Forum because we share the belief that sport can work to build sustainable peace. Our first tangible actions have been crowned by success. It’s for us all now to act so that our movement grows and makes this world a better place.”

At the conclusion of the moving ceremony, Joël Bouzou presented Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, with an official plaque in recognition of his invaluable help in enabling the first Peace and Sport International Forum to be organized outside Monaco. He then called the 22 Champions for Peace who were present in Sochi to join him on stage for a ‘family’ photo to officially open the Peace and Sport 6th International Forum.

Photos and speeches available on the site www.peace-sport.org


About the Peace and Sport International Forum

Under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Peace and Sport International Forum is a unique annual summit bringing together hundreds of guests and delegates. Hosted for the first time outside Monaco in the future Olympic City of Sochi, situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the 6th edition of the Peace and Sport International Forum promises to be more multinational than ever. More than 500 delegates, speakers and panellists from 70 countries will enrich the 3 days of debates. Among them: heads of states, political decision-makers, legendary athletes committed to sport and peace, and leading figures from world sport governance. The Peace and Sport International Forum 2012 takes place between31 October and 2 November.

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Press Contact
Caroline Duboc
Peace and Sport Forum Media Officer
M: + 79298543597, E: carolineduboc@gmail.com
www.peace-sport.org