Thank you Mr President.
We welcome the distinguished Panelists and appreciate their initial statements.
Human Rights and sport have become increasingly intertwined as sport has significant potential to promote human rights and raise awareness for their respect
This is particularly true also with regard to vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities a main topic of today’s discussion. As we have witnessed from the presence and the statements by some Panelists, athletes with disabilities can act and indeed are a role model for all of us and particularly the young people. Sport and the media can contribute effectively in promoting the values that athletes with disabilities represent and understanding better the challenges they face.
We also appreciate the focus of the discussion on the need to increase women participation in sport events, including in major sport events, and in sport leadership. We call on States and sport organizations to effectively contribute in achieving this goal and fight relevant stereotypes. We thank the Panelists for identifying best practices in this respect.
Furthermore, the EU would like to stress the importance of non- discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, origin or religion as mentioned also in the relevant Advisory Committee Report. In this connection, we would like to emphasize the role of education in promoting non-discrimination and values such as fair play, tolerance, and respect for diversity.
While acknowledging fully the positive role that sport is playing in promoting human rights worldwide, we would like to condemn however negative practices such as human rights violations in the organization of mega sport events, doping, corruption, vandalism and violence in and around sport events and many others.
These practices risk to undermine the potential of further using sport to promote human rights. In this respect, we would like to ask the Panelists what are in their view the main challenges and how can we better protect the sport movement from such practices ?
In April 2016, Prof. Ruggie released an important report "For the Game. For the World. FIFA and Human Rights". Could the Panelists share their views on how this report and recommendations can be used to embed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights across their operations, including in providing greater transparency in managing human rights risks and improving access to remedy?
Thank you Mr President