(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The first meeting of the international experts group at the United Nations, led by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, concluded in New York with the launch of a global program on securing major sporting events and using sports to counter-terrorism.
Under the umbrella of the United Nations, attendees from more than 100 countries worldwide, led by Qatar, China and South Korea, and a broad representation from the United States of America met for two days to discuss the two issues. The opening ceremony witnessed a remarkable international presence, the State of Qatar was represented at the meeting by HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, who was one of the keynote speakers after the opening speech at the meeting that was delivered by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov.
Also speaking at the event where Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations ambassador Cho Hyun, High Commissioner of the United Nations Office for Alliance of Civilisations Miguel Angel Moratino and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Michele Coninsx, and Director of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute Bettina Tucci. International Centre on Sport Security (ICSS) CEO Masimiliano Montanari also attended and delivered an opening speech on behalf of Mohamed Hanzab, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ICSS, the technical partner implementing the new international project.
The meeting and the discussions that followed over two days centred on launching a new international project sponsored and funded by the United Nations and led by the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism with the participation of three main parties, including two international organisations, UNICIRI, the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, and the ICSS, which is the partner in charge of the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism. The latter is implementing the technical side of a program on securing major sporting events and promoting sport and its values as a tool to prevent violence and extremism.
Voronkov thanked the ICSS, stressing that fruitful cooperation between the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism and the ICSS would contribute to achieving goals in accordance with international standards.
For her part, HE Sheikha Alya said that the State of Qatar was happy to be one of the main backers of the project. She praised the efforts of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, highlighting the strong cooperation between various UN organisations and the State of Qatar. HE Sheikha Alya also praised the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) for its World Cup 2022 organisation efforts, whether in terms of security or for promoting the event, noting that the State of Qatar organises many international sporting events and is open to cooperation with all countries and partners in the field of safety and security.
In a speech broadcast via video, Secretary-General of SC Hassan al-Thawadi, expressed his appreciation to Voronkov and the attendees of the event.
Al-Thawadi stressed that the SC is keen to co-operate and work with the international community to exchange information, experiences in any way that that enhances aspects of safety and sports security, considering that the State of Qatar is a leader in the field and pointed out that the International Center for Sports Security is led by Mohammed Hanzab is a testament to that. He added that the SC and the ICSS are working closely together to organise a memorable World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
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