Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee Chairman Hasan Arat returned to Turkey after attending several days of speeches and meetings at the 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development in New York at the United Nations headquarters, calling the event “a fantastic learning experience at a crucial time for our bid.”
“The theme for the UN Forum was “Creating a Common Vision,” and that could not be more relevant for the people of Istanbul right now,” Arat said. “As the predominantly peaceful protests continue in Turkey, sport can be a tool for bringing opposing groups together in peaceful and productive dialogue. Listening to the world’s leading authorities in harnessing the power of sport and Olympism has been a fantastic learning experience at a crucial time for our bid.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, United Kingdom Minister for Sport and Tourism Hugh Robertson and International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven were among the speakers at the Forum.
“Istanbul 2020 has been our nation’s “Common Vision” for 20 years, and that is no less true today,” Arat said. “All recent polls have shown an overwhelming majority in favour of bringing the Games to Turkey for the first time. I am confident that in the coming days and weeks, our Olympic bid will continue to be a unifying force.”
Topics discussed at the Forum centred around the successes and challenges of using sport as a tool for social development and peace promotion.
The three bid committees of Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo will learn of the International Olympic Committee’s decision as to which Candidate City will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires this September.