UN Chief and Goodwill Ambassadors mark one year to 2012 Olympics

Jul 27, 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant (left) and former Olympian Carl Lewis at start of countdown clock for 2012 Games. (UN Photo)

New York – The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Carl Lewis, Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and nine-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner, today unveiled an Olympic Countdown clock marking one year to the Summer Olympic Games taking place 27 July 2012 in London, England.

The clock at UN headquarters is a small-size replica of the original in Trafalgar Square, a crowded tourist attraction and outdoor exhibition space for traditional and experimental art in the centre of London.

“These Olympic Games will be a big event for our global mission of peace and we especially welcome the emphasis on clean energy and eco-friendly development,” Ban Ki-moon said. “Sustainability is my number one priority in the years to come.”

“The Olympics and UN have the same goal of promoting peace and development,” Carl Lewis added.

In a message to the event organizers, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors Maria Sharapova, Marta Vieira da Silva, Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane said:

“As athletes, we truly believe in the role of sports in promoting peace, development and understanding. The Olympic Games bring people around the globe together to celebrate sports and support their national teams.”

“We encourage the same kind of passion to end poverty and promote sustainable development,” they added. “We join you today by sending our best wishes for the start of the one year countdown and for a very successful 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London!”

UNDP Around the world