The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Doha-based International Centre on Sport Security (ICSS), through ICSS Insight, have signed an agreement that will foster co-operation around matters related to preventing and countering terrorism, particularly with regard to the protection of vulnerable targets in the context of major sporting events.
The agreement signed at the United Nations headquarters in New York aims at promoting the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and enhancing public-private partnerships in preparation, and during major sporting events and other international sporting competitions, according to a press statement issued in Doha.
As a result, UNOCT and ICSS, which is a global, not-for-profit organisation based in Doha, will convene international and regional events, develop tools, guidelines and capacity-building programmes to enhance the security of major sporting events and promote sports and its values to prevent terrorism and violent extremism.
ICSS Insight is a non-profit entity established under the umbrella of ICSS to assist governments, international bodies, sport organisations, civil society and the business sector in the development of advanced policies, through a multi-sectoral approach, to safeguard sport.
“On the one hand, Security Council Resolution 2396 (2017) calls on Member States to protect vulnerable targets, including in the context of major sport events. On the other hand, sports can also help engage youth and reinforce communities’ resilience, which is key to prevent the spread of violent extremism conducive to terrorism. We are pleased to launch a new initiative that will contribute to better support member states in addressing both areas and we are grateful to have ICSS as an important partner of this endeavour,” Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, said at the signing.
Mohamed Hanzab, chairman of ICSS, added in a written note: “We feel honoured to start this collaboration with UNOCT, and to offer our assistance in the development and promotion of advanced international approaches to enhance the security of major sporting events, a common good for the international community.”
ICSS Insight CEO Massimiliano Montanari said: “Protecting major sporting events means protecting all the socio-economic opportunities these events can generate. At the same time, major sporting events are unique laboratories of innovation also in the security field and are able to generate long-term forms of international and multi-sectoral co-operation."
HE Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was present at the signing ceremony and welcomed this important partnership.
“The State of Qatar assigns high priority to sports as a means for peace and development and being a reputable venue for many international and regional sports events, can offer valuable contribution and standards for the successful management of sports and other major events; therefore, we welcome this co-operation between the UNOCT and ICSS,” she said.