Posted on September 24, 2017

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for delivering the infrastructure required to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, gave a speech during the ‘Harnessing the Power of Sport to Achieve Sustainable Development’ exhibition yesterday, on the sidelines of the 2017 United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

“Events of this stature are able to bring billions of people together from every corner of the world,” Al Thawadi said at the event. “They can serve to accelerate and inspire…in a manner and at a pace that few other initiatives can match.” Qatar’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, spoke at the inauguration of the exhibition, adding that the tournament gives the State of Qatar a great opportunity to stimulate innovation and sustainable development in pursuit of the goals set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

“The World Cup is an occasion to bring people together to overcome geographical, cultural and linguistic differences,” H.E. the Minister said, adding that the SC’s legacy initiatives “will teach participants values such as tolerance, empathy, integration, respect, dialogue, reconciliation, courage, self-discipline and leadership.”

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The exhibition was organised by the SC to showcase the opportunity the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ represents for the Middle East and Arab world to realise its true potential. It also highlighted sport’s power to transform the region’s social and economic development. Other speakers included Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, and Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser, the Qatari diplomat and former permanent representative of Qatar to the UN.

During his speech, the SC Secretary General went on to outline the SC’s legacy projects, including Generation Amazing, Challenge 22 and the Josoor Institute, highlighting their impact on young people across the region. In particular, he discussed the SC’s work with partners such as UNHCR, Mercy Corps, Right to Play and Street Football World to build sporting facilities in Nepal, Pakistan and refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon, where Generation Amazing coaches deliver programmes to develop leadership skills, civic engagement and life skills among children in underprivileged communities. So far, more than 30,000 people from 26 communities in five countries have benefited from these programmes.

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“Sport is uniquely equipped to play a significant role in attaining [the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals],” Al Thawadi continued. “It breaks down barriers, creates friendships and enhances cultural understanding. No matter our creed, belief, nationality or economic status, sport touches on our passion and brings out the best of us as individuals and human beings.” Al Thawadi concluded his speech by saying Qatar’s vision had not changed since the country won the right to host the tournament in 2010.

“When we bid to host the FIFA World Cup, we recognised the immense potential of bringing an event to the Middle East and the Arab world for the first time… It is a precious opportunity that we must not waste. An opportunity to share a common mission and make a difference through creating a better future. We intend to make the most of it. I invite you to join us on our journey.”

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