UNICRI and ICSS ink pact on sports integrity, security
September 18 2019 02:21 AM
Mohamed Hanzab and Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas during the agreement signing at SIGA Inter-Regional Summ
Mohamed Hanzab and Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas during the agreement signing at SIGA Inter-Regional Summit in Doha yesterday. PICTURE: Ram Chand

International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) signed an agreement aimed at strengthening co-operation for the integrity and security of major sporting events. 
ICSS chairman Mohamed Hanzab and UNICRI director Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas led the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the second day of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) Inter-Regional Summit yesterday, held at Marsa Malaz Kempinski in Doha.
“It is an honour really to share the stage and to be here with Mohamed Hanzab. Chairman Hanzab has been a friend of UNICRI for many years, both our institutions share our devotion and our passion for integrity, for rule of law, for good governance, and for safety and security,” Bartsiotas said.
She noted that UNICRI has been operating for 50 years and collaborating with ICSS for 10 years since the latter’s inception. “It is really a pleasure today to be able to strengthen our alliance and co-operation by signing a MoU, which will be the basis for capacity building, training and further collaboration in pursuit of the integrity of sports, the security of sports, and the safeguarding of sports,” Bartsiotas said. “I am very pleased to be engaging in this very important collaboration.”
The agreement will witness the two institutions working together in a long-term partnership for the security of major sporting events as part of collective efforts, which is also in partnership with other UN bodies such as the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and key sport stakeholders. “Today we have established a strong alliance for the implementation of capacity-building/training programmes; sport security and integrity advocacy and awareness initiatives; and the deployment of a task force to provide specialist advice to policy and decision-makers,” UNICRI said on its Twitter account yesterday.
“Thanks to this agreement we will be able to plan together our action in the future, enhancing synergies and developing specialised services to support Member States and contribute to the safety and security of those who love sport and its values,” UNICRI added.
Hanzab said the first institution he approached after setting up ICSS was UNICRI, which has a mandate from the UN for protecting major sporting events, and fighting terrorism and radicalisation. “It is an honour and a pleasure to sign today a very important agreement. 
Since I launched ICSS we have been working really hard, set a very high standard where it can be working with international organisations,” he said, adding that the first institution to invite him for a counterterrorism conference came from UNICRI. 
“I am very honoured and on behalf of ICSS, I thank you very much for choosing ICSS as your partner,” Hanzab stressed.

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