(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA
Dakar: The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has inaugurated the regional forum for National Focal Points (NFPs) for Africa in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The forum, a first for the region, largely targeted all focal points from all African countries in pursuit of laying the core structure to provide the essential protection for sports in the continent within the framework of the UN Global Program on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport, along with its values as a tool for the prevention of extremism.
The event was attended by a host of Senegalese officials, and local partners, along with partners in the global UN program that was launched in 2020 and is spearheaded by UNOCT with the participation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), as well as ICSS the technical partner in the project that aims to help the member states in the United Nations enhance the security protection of major sporting events through boosting the international cooperation and sustainable legacy in the area of sports with the necessary promotion of sport values as robust means to combat terrorism and prevent extremism.
President of ICSS Mohammed Hanzab said that such a step comes in the context of the implementation of the partnership agreement signed in 2020, between UNOCT and ICSS followed by the issuance of the global guide for sports protection with the concurrence of the member states in the UN General Assembly.
'The implementation of the global UN program has been turned to Africa, where the regional forum for NFPs for Africa was hosted by Dakar to gather focal points from all African states in order to implement the global guide for the protection of sports through setting a mechanism to connect the focal points in all African states, and subsequently facilitate the coordination, share the information and apply the best practices,' he said.
Hanzab underlined that while Qatar is successfully building the legacy through organizing the current edition of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, however, ICSS continues to generalize this legacy for the service of global sports, while the African step is considered part and parcel of Qatar tournament legacy, pointing out that the UN currently moves forward to assist the African states in drawing up the mechanism for the protection of sport in the African continent through the Global Program on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its values as a tool for the protection against extremism.
'It is a program funded by a private fund in the United Nations and backed by many states, including Qatar, the People's Republic of China, and South Korea, and is an opportunity to extend thanks to the UN for this planning and great effort in adopting the project, the thanks are also extended to the states that support the global project,' the ICSS president pointed out.
Hanzab added that ICSS is committed to proceeding with the work in pursuit of providing technical assistance and supporting the coordination of policies and cooperation through setting the mechanisms and tools concerning the security of sporting events and utilizing sport as means of combating extremism.
He added that such commitment is extended to all African states, where Dakar will be the headquarters and a focal point in Africa that gathers all stakeholders at the policy and decision-makers level, civil society organizations and all those concerned with sports, youth and organizers of sporting events, as this new step essentially targets the capacity-building to promote the sport values and combat extremism in the African continent.
The attendees of the two-day forum learned more about the Global Program on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport, including its values as a tool for the protection against extremism, along with the global guide issued by the program and offered by UNOCT prior to being issued to the ministers of sports in the UN member states, because the forum was an opportunity to review the general situation of the major sporting events in the African states, in addition to all challenges besetting the continent with respect to safety and sports security.
In addition, it was agreed to draw up a training plan through standardized workshops to qualify and refine the skills of the cadres in all African states.
Moreover, ICSS will lead the technical team towards implementing the new project in Africa, as the center is considered the technical partner for the global program to secure the major sporting events and promote the sport, including its values as a tool for the protection against extremism, which is the program led by UNOCT with the participation of UNAOC, UNICRI, and aims to help the UN member states enhance the protection of major sporting events through backing the international cooperation and sustainable legacy in the field of sports, along with the promotion of the sport's values as means of counter-terrorism and prevention of extremism.