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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at UNOCT International Expert Group Meeting on the Security of Major Sporting Events and the Promotion of Sports and its Value as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism

2020-02-03 10:58

Mr. President,

Your Excellency USG Voronkov, colleagues,

First of all, I thank UNOCT (Counter-Terrorism Office) for its initiative to convene this meeting in launching a Global Program on the Security of Major Sporting Events and the Promotion of Sports and its Value as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism, and in conducting an in-depth discussion. I’m very honored to speak at the opening ceremony as one of the sponsors of this meeting.

At present, terrorism remains a serious threat to international peace and security. There has been quite some success in the international fight against terrorism, but the global counter-terrorism situation remains complex and grave. There has recently been a new surge of global terrorism over the recent years, with terrorist activities more spread-out and localized. A major problem is the issue of FTFs (foreign terrorist fighters), and the use of new technologies such as internet by terrorist organizations to spread violent extremism, xenophobia and extremist ideologies, leading to expanded influence of extremism, with major sports events and key infrastructure under terrorist threat, bringing new risks and challenges for the global counter-terrorism effort.

Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind. The international community should foster a sense of community with a shared future for mankind, strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation, stick to unified standards, fight terrorism in all its forms in a joint effort to respond to the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.

Sports is the hallmark of social development and human progress. The Olympic spirit always stands for unity, friendship and peace, and advocates exchanges and interaction of countries and civilizations for peaceful coexistence, which is the common goal of all peoples across the world. Advocating the value of sports and championing its spirit are important means for the promotion of peace, tolerance and understanding.


In recent years, and in the years to come, major sports events such as Olympic Games, Winter Olympics, World Cups have been, or are going to be, held in Asia. China is very honored to be one of the host countries for these events. It has a set of effective practices in security and preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization for these events. We would like to share such positive exploration in the field of international counter-terrorism through multiple channels.

In 2022, China will host the 24th Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and Zhangjiako. Beijing will become the first city that will have held both the Summer, and Winter Olympics. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the security of the Winter Olympics and started as early as in 2015 the relevant security preparations as requested by the Olympic Committee. The Olympic venues/sites under construction have been placed under the security system. Going forward, we will establish a Security Center, a Command and Control Center, and an Intelligence Center as well as interactive mechanisms among different sites hosting the Game to ensure a safe, smoothly-run and successful Winter Olympics, and presenting the world with a splendid, extraordinary and outstanding Olympics.

The series of major sports events have also provided athletes of different countries, nationalities, cultures and skin colors with an important platform to enhance mutual understanding, increase people-to-people exchanges, and foster social integration. They will also attract more young people to the cause of sports, drive economy and trade, and make their positive contribution to world peace and development.

China engages deeply in international and regional counter-terrorism cooperation and has put in close to $6 million through China-UN Peace and Development Fund to support agencies like UNOCT for major sports events and Africa Counter-Terrorism Coordination Center Capacity Building Project, among others. China would like to work with all countries to strengthen practical cooperation in a joint effort to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and maintain world peace and tranquillity.

I believe that the Expert Group, in preparing its UN Global Guidelines of Assistance to Member States in Organizing Major Sporting Events, should stick to member states leadership, follow the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and existing UN resolutions, and give priority attention to the developing countries’ counter terrorism capacity building.

I wish to conclude by wishing that the meeting will be crowned with success and practical results.

Thank you.

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