Generations For Peace and Sochi 2014 today signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding that commits both organizations to supporting delegates from Generations For Peace Sochi Camps in their implementation of sustainable peace building projects.
The historic signing comes two days after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Olympic Truce submitted by LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe, entitled “Sport For Peace and Development: Building a Peaceful and Better World through Sport and the Olympic Ideal”.
The international peace through sport NGO, founded by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan, and the collective stakeholders of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will work together to support programmes implemented by delegates who have attended a Generations For Peace Sochi Camp. This shared commitment to concrete action will help ensure these programmes can make a long-term impact on communities blighted by conflict. The commitment is a key part of Sochi 2014′s legacy initiative.
The signing ceremony took place at the closing press conference of Generations For Peace Sochi Camp 2011 – the latest hugely fruitful alliance between the international NGO, Sochi 2014, and Sochi City Administration. The MOU was signed by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, Founder and Chairman of Generations For Peace, and Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, and witnessed and supported by Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Kozak. Also present were Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, and President of Generations For Peace, HRH Princess Sarah Al-Feisal.
Speaking at the press conference, HRH Prince Feisal described just what a landmark moment the MOU signing is for both parties:
“This is a proud day for Generations For Peace and the beginning of a new and very exciting phase in our relationship with Sochi 2014. This MOU is an unprecedented commitment to concrete sustained action that will have a real impact in so many communities, and it follows on the success of our Generations For Peace Sochi Camps in 2010 and 2011. Generations For Peace and Sochi 2014 are two organisations passionately devoted to spreading the values of Olympism and the Olympic Truce through the power of sport. I am convinced that those shared passions will be the driving force of positive sustainable change in conflict communities worldwide.”
The commitment marks the first time in Olympic history that an Organising Committee has partnered in this way with an international NGO to translate the ideals of the Olympic Truce into such concrete action. It is also the first time that Generations For Peace will have a sustainability programme supported by partners, something that will undoubtedly broaden and deepen its impact in the field.
Deputy Prime Minister Kozak explained the motivation behind Russia’s continued support of Generations For Peace, its values and its work:
“Sochi 2014 is catalysing positive changes across Russia. The tangible legacy of world-class infrastructure and economic growth is plain to see. Less plain but equally valuable is the intangible legacy: changing attitudes to disability, enfranchising young people in society, volunteerism and, especially, using sport as a tool for peace building. These inspirational delegates now have the skills to implement life-changing initiatives. It is our joint responsibility to give them the platform to deliver.”
Generations For Peace Sochi Camps 2010 and 2011 have trained a total of 109 delegates from the Russian Federation, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, FYROM, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, who later attended a camp session guiding delegates on their first steps towards becoming Certified Peace Pioneers, commented:
“Our Sochi 2014 legacy initiative has already achieved outstanding success, but this new partnership can take our work to the next level. We want to prove that we don’t just believe in the Olympic Truce – we live by its principles and we share its principles with the world. Our relationship with Generations For Peace will raise the bar for future Organising Committees and set a new benchmark for the social development the Games can bring.”
Mayor Pakhomov highlighted the impact the last two Sochi Camps are already making in the region:
“We are honored to have hosted two such important and worthwhile events in our city, and we look forward to welcoming back our friends at Generations For Peace in the future. This event has shown once again that Sochi is a modern resort open to the whole world and dedicated to promoting peace and tolerance. It is heart-warming to see that some of the volunteers from Sochi Camp 2010 have gone on to become delegates this year, and others are camp staff. It proves that this partnership is providing opportunities for a new spirit of volunteerism and helping these young people grow into better citizens and better role models for their generation.”