In a move aimed to prevent youth crime, violence and drug use through sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have announced to extend their memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further strengthen the cooperation between the two organisations in fighting corruption and crime in sport.
The new agreement was signed on Tuesday at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, by IOC President Thomas Bach and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and will remain in force until the end of the year 2025.
Commenting on the development, Bach said: “The IOC is a values-based organisation. Therefore, we have the duty to uphold good governance and integrity. This MoU will greatly strengthen the cooperation between the IOC and UNODC. We will cooperate in a number of different areas, specifically on capacity-building, training programmes and awareness-raising events that aim to tackle corruption and crime in sport.”
“In addition, we collaborate in the prevention of the manipulation of sports competitions. Through the extended cooperation, we will also use sport as a tool to prevent youth crime, violence and drug use,” he added.
On the other hand, UNODC Executive Director Waly said: “2021 is a landmark year for global anti-corruption action, and international mobilisation to protect the integrity of sport is stronger than ever. Under the new agreement, UNODC and the IOC will build on this momentum to help countries safeguard sport, but also leverage its power to strengthen youth resilience against crime, and shape more inclusive and just societies.”
“The IOC and UNODC have a long-standing relationship. The two organisations regularly review the effectiveness of their joint initiatives and develop them further to address new trends and needs,” the IOC statement further stated.
Significantly, the new MoU signed is set to remain in force until the end of 2025 and will cover various areas of cooperation like supporting capacity-building, training programmes, awareness-raising events and related initiatives aimed at tackling corruption and crime in sport, including within sports organisations and in relation to the manipulation of sports competitions, as well as preventing youth crime, violence and drug use through sport.
The MoU will also see exchanging information and expertise, including through participation in conferences, regular meetings, contribution to studies, development of technical tools and publications regarding tackling corruption and crime in sport, as well as preventing youth crime, violence and drug use through sport; and supporting activities to enhance sport’s contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and also promoting sport for development and peace through joint programming, including in the context of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and other sports events.
The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the fourth edition of the International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI), which bought together more than 500 stakeholders representing the Olympic Movement, intergovernmental agencies, governments, the betting industry and other sectors.
All four intergovernmental organisations specialised in anti-corruption participate with high-level representatives: the UNODC, the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and INTERPOL.