Ban Ki-Moon and Olegario Vazquez Raña: “let’s build peace through sport”

52nd ISSF World Championship All Events · Changwon, KOR

The former UN Secretary General and the ISSF President met at the “Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum”, ahead of the opening ceremony of the 52nd ISSF World Championship, in which North Korea’s shooting team will participate for the first time in the history in an ISSF event held in the South.

The ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña met the former UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon at the “Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum”, which was organized in occasion of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all events in Changwon, South Korea, today. 


The forum, held at Changwon Convention Center, revolved around the “realization of World Peace through Economy, Culture, and Sport,” and aims to be a platform for unity where world leaders, intellectuals, and experts of each field who devoted their lives for world peace and human prosperity gathered to deliver a message of peace. The forum comes after the the winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, and this year’s Inter-Korean and North Korea – United States summits. 


The former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon delivered a keynote speech to the forum:


“I would like to thank the ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña and the ISSF Secretary General Franz Schreiber for being here today,” he said, “It is very meaningful to host this forum here in Changwon, in occasion of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all shooting events.” 


“Sport and peace have a profound relationship. Sport can contribute to peace as it has the power to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.”


“We have witnessed it at the Peyongchan Winter Olympics, that will remain as an historical moment of peace for the Korean peninsula.”


“The ISSF World Championship is taking place in the right place at the right time.” Mr. Ban Ki-Moonn continnued. “A delegation of 22 North Korean athletes and coaches has arrived here in Changwon to take part in the event. This is a great occasion to promote inter-Korean relationships and to build on the momentum. I believe it’s great that athletes from the North and from the South will get to compete in the same events.” 


Speaking to the forum, the ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña said: 


“I am very proud to be here at this historic World Peace and Democracy Forum in Changwon.”


“Earlier this year, the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics launched a powerful message of peace to the world. We will never forget the image of the athletes from South Korea and North Korea parading together with the flags of South Korea, North Korea and the Korean Peninsula. This was an inspiring example of sport promoting peace and unity.”


“World peace through sport is the common ideal of the UN, the IOC and the ISSF. This is why it is especially important that this World Peace Forum is taking place in this beautiful land that is unfortunately divided.”


“Sports activities teach us respect, honesty, communication, cooperation, empathy, and for this reason, sports defy prejudice, heal divisions and promote tolerance.”


“Let us continue this marvelous history of peace through sport during this 52nd ISSF World Championship in all shooting events. Immediately after this World Peace Forum we will have the opening ceremony of this great event that has brought together more than 1800 athletes and officials from 100 countries, including 22 athletes and delegates from North Korea.”


“Let's celebrate this historic Changwon World Peace Forum and the World Championship of the ISSF conveying a message of peace to the entire world!”


ISSF Vice-President, 1964 and 1968 Olympic Champion Gary Anderson (USA), continued: 


“My personal experience - which goes back to the cold war era - tells me that sport does has the power to unite people and build peace.”


“URSS athletes’ job was to win. Our job was to beat them. We were supposed to be enemies, but the magic of sport competitions changed us. We learned that we could be friends to each other. We learned that what we were told by the media about each other back home was not true.”


“Sport changed us. And changed us for the better.”


“Out of my experience, I am sure that this ISSF World Championship - in which athletes from North and South Korea are competing in the same events - will play a role in the peace process.” 


The Opening Ceremony of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all shooting events will take place today, at 6.10 PM (South Korea time). A total of 1806 athletes from 90 nations (including 12 athletes from North Korea) are set to participate in the competition, piling up 3457 starts in 59 Olympic and non-Olympic events. The first medals will be assigned on the 2nd of September.


Footage of the Olympic events’ finals will be distributed worldwide via EBU and broadcasted live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel and on its official Facebook page.


Live results, news and updates will be available on and on all ISSF social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Weibo and Youku.

Marco Dalla Dea


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