The United Nations special ambassador for sport and peace, Switzerland's Adolf Ogi, has said he wants to hold a world sports summit at the end of the year aimed at increasing international cooperation.
Announcing plans for the meeting, which will be held in Geneva, the former Swiss president said he hoped to bring together senior UN figures and the heads of the world's sports federations.
Referring to a recent UN report, Ogi stated that the two most common requests of the agency were for food and sports equipment. "Sport has an opportunity to create a better world," he added.
Ogi, who took up his post in February, also announced that he was looking to contact the UN's sports ambassadors, such as Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis and the footballers Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. He said sports stars generally had more success in getting the UN's message across than politicians.
With this in mind, Ogi declared that he was keen to sign up next year's winners of soccer's World Cup to actively support training camps in developing countries. He also suggested that every Olympic champion should undertake to help a child from the developing world.
During the press conference to announce plans for the sports summit, Ogi was questioned over the controversial issue of Peking's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.
China is one of the favourites to secure the coveted prize on July 13 despite serious question marks over its human rights record.
Pointing out that he had no influence over the final decision, Ogi insisted that the eyes of the world would be on whichever country won the games. "If the Olympic Games go to China, 20,000 journalists will be there to cover them," he said.
swissinfo with agencies
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