Secretary-General: Message to UNDP's "Match Against Poverty"

14 Dec 2010

Piraeus, 14 December 2010

I salute everyone involved in this wonderful “Match Against Poverty”.

The people of Haiti and Pakistan have suffered tremendous sorrow and loss as a result of this year’s devastating natural disasters. That is why the proceeds of this game will go in part to United Nations projects that will help them to recover and rebuild.  And that is why this match is global solidarity at its best.

I thank the UN Development Programme for organizing this event, and the Olympiacos Football Club and the Olympiacos All Stars Team for hosting it. Above all, I thank Zidane, Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and their many friends who are giving their time to this great humanitarian cause.  As world- famous athletes, you are giving hope to people who have lost everything. You are sending the crucial message that we will not abandon or forget them in their time of need.

The United Nations continues to reach those affected by the earthquake and flooding, but the difficult times are not yet over.  I call on the world of sports and sports fans everywhere to continue to help the United Nations -- in responding to the emergencies in Haiti and Pakistan, and in working for human development and human dignity throughout the world.  In the fight against poverty, there can be no spectators; we are all players; we all have our part to do to.

This “Match Against Poverty” -- the eighth of its kind -- shows yet again how athletes, the UN family and the world of sports can work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and build a better world. In games like this, everyone is a winner.