The International Center for Sport Security (ICSS), in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), provided technical assistance to the Maldives on the security of major sporting events and the use of sport to promote intercultural dialogue, peace and resilience.
Organized in Malé by the Government of the Maldives, the technical assistance was provided from October 10 to 13 under a program that started in August this year.
The program aims to build capacities to protect sports events against different security threats and to use sport to promote peace and resilience within society, and also falls within the perspective of organizing the championship International Open Sea Swimming and Indian Ocean Games that the Maldives will host in 2023 and 2025, respectively.
The four-day programme, led by UNOCT, brought together experts from ICSS and other UN partners, as well as representatives from the National Sports Council of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Center Maldivian counter-terrorism.
The assistance was provided under the multi-year Global Program on the Security of Major Sporting Events and the Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool for the Prevention of Violent Extremism (Global Sports Program), an initiative made possible thanks to the generous support of Qatar, China and South Korea.
The assistance provided in Malé included a series of theoretical content, training and practical simulations of real scenarios to help participants understand more deeply the importance of security planning and prevention, as well as the investment in preparing for potential threats.
Participants improved their ability to identify major event security challenges, use the values of sport to promote peace and resilience in their own work environment, and their understanding of the application of safety measures. mitigation to manage incidents towards a lasting legacy.
ICSS chief executive Massimiliano Montanari said: “Sport has suffered tremendously this year on all continents, some of the darkest months we have ever seen.”
“The wave of gang violence that engulfed soccer matches in Mexico and Argentina, the crushing victims outside a stadium at the Africa Cup in Cameroon, and the recent 174 killed and 180 injured in Indonesia,” did he declare. “And the list is longer.”
“Our global program is an effort to prevent future tragedies and return sport to peaceful families and supporters,” Montanari added. “In this regard, cooperation with sports event authorities and governments of countries of all sizes and latitudes is essential to achieve such a goal.”