New UN sports envoy sees Tibet as priority

March 20th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by admin  

Berlin, March 19 (DPA) The new United Nations special sports envoy Willi Lemke is to focus his attention on the conflict in Tibet ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August. The former Werder Bremen general manager said in Berlin Wednesday there should be neither talk at present of a boycott of the Games nor should one be “completely ruled out”.

The issue had to be viewed in all its various aspects, he said. Sport was to be regarded as a positive influence on conflicts and conflict regions.

Lemke, who was officially presented as sports adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said he saw his main task as promoting popular sport as a preventive measure in crisis regions.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier congratulated Lemke on his appointment

Lemke, 61, who was Bremen general manager between 1981 and 1999 and is now chairman of the club’s supervisory board, is “a first-class choice” for the post, Steinmeier said.

Lemke, who is also a Bremen state politician, currently senator for internal affairs and sport in the northern city, is to succeed Adolf Ogi of Switzerland as the UN secretary-general’s special adviser on sport for development and peace.

He will be tasked with leading and coordinating the UN’s efforts to promote sport as an instrument for development and peace.

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