On the road to Doha - Progress Report - 9th World Confence on Sport and Environment, 2011,
by: International Olympic Committee to the United Nations

The 9th IOC World Conference on Sport and Environment is a watershed event which should usher in a new era in the sporting movement?s contribution to the international community?s environmental debate and practical actions that are being taken to save Mother Earth. The event follows soon after the IOC was inducted into the UN Family as Permanent Observer to the UN General Assembly and when at its Congress in Copenhagen, the IOC resolved that sport should fully contribute to the debate by taking actions that would not only be confined to the organisation of the Olympic Games. The Rio Summit next year is particularly important to the IOC. Two major Olympic events, the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games and the Games of the Olympiad will take place in Innsbruck and London respectively. Further down the road, Rio will host the FIFA Wold Cup, the World Military Games and the Olympic Games in 2016. The ?Doha Environmental Debates? will provide the Olympic Movement with unparalleled opportunity not only to rally the entire sporting world to the cause and provide pointers to the IOC Executive Board and the IOC Session in Durban, South Africa in July on how sport could play its full part. The involvement of young people in the conference, to learn from old hands, to speak for themselves and be heard and to participate in shaping the future role of sport in the environmental debate is another stroke of ingenuity on the part of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission. For years, young people have been spoken for at events and at conferences by many past their youth who could only speak from past experience about what they believed was good for young people and what concerned them most. The IOC decision to establish the Youth Olympic Games at which young people are totally empowered, has changed the rules of the game for ever. Young, educated, clear-minded and determined people have made their appearances, first at the IOC World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education in Durban last December and will do so in Doha as well. If their performance, their zeal, their clear articulation of their role, needs and wants in this world during the Durban exchanges with the 600-plus audience is matched in Doha then the conference is promised not only an entertaining session but one that should make decision makers sit up and listen even more attentively. In the same way that every subsequent Organising Committee of the Olympic Games raises the bar on environment and sustainability actions, have the Qatar Olympic Committee in organising the 9th IOC World Conference on Sport and Environment. It would have been simpler for QOC and the Government to avail resources needed to successfully organise the event. Instead there has been passion on the part of those involved in putting the conference together, a passion to showcase the successes of the country?s own environmental credentials.

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