General Assembly Adopts Consensus Resolution Welcoming 2022 World Cup Football Championship Hosted by Qatar as First to Be Held in Middle East
In a consensus text adopted today, the General Assembly welcomed the upcoming World Cup football championship in Qatar as the first such event to be held in the Middle East and encouraged the relevant authorities to exert every effort to ensure that the 2022 tournament will leave a lasting legacy for peace and development in the region.
By the terms of the resolution (document A/76/L.48), the 193-member organ also emphasized that sport has an important role to play in the promotion of peace and development, respect for human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in particular football, given its universal popularity.
Welcoming Qatar for hosting the World Cup, the Assembly encouraged all Member States to support sport as a tool to promote peace and development, including through the continued contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and dialogue among civilizations.
Also by the text, the Assembly expressed its support for the launch of “Healthy 2022 World Cup — Creating Legacy for Sport and Health”, a multi-year collaboration among the International Federation of Association Football, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Qatar, which aims to make the 2022 World Cup a beacon for the promotion of healthy lives, physical and mental health and psychosocial well-being.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held from 21 November to 18 December.
Qatar’s representative, introducing the draft, said the text welcomes her country for hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East, and stresses the importance of community health. Qatar is ready to offer an exceptional event that no one will forget, with authentic hospitality.
Before the adoption, the representative of Belarus, explaining his position, said that instead of advancing peace and development, sport is being held hostage to political games, becoming a tool of pressure and sanctions against individual States. He rejected the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee and subsequent decisions of international athletic federations to remove Belarusian athletes and teams from participating in international competitions, calling for sport to be free from politics, as required by the Olympic Charter.
After the adoption, Denmark’s delegate, speaking in explanation of position on behalf of the European Union, expressed appreciation for the inclusion of stronger human rights, gender equality and sustainable development language in the resolution. While the bloc joined consensus today, she urged international sports federations to pay close attention to the respect for fundamental human rights and labour standards when awarding world athletic events. Qatar has initiated fundamental reforms that aim at improving human rights and labour standards. While these efforts are welcome, the European Union remains concerned about their implementation and the resulting conditions for migrant workers during the preparations for the event. The bloc, therefore, appreciates the inclusion in preambular paragraph 10 of a reference to respect for the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which is of great importance in the preparation and implementation of mega sports events.
The General Assembly will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.