Doha, 15 April 2015
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Qatar for being with us today.
I would also like to thank the International Centre for Sport Security and its President, Mr. Mohammed Hanzab, for joining forces and efforts with UNODC to co-organize this event.
The event provides an important forum for the exchange of expert views on strategies and plans to address criminal threats in the global sports industry, from the investigation and prosecution perspective, at both national and international levels.
Recent cases make clear the urgent need for effective responses to match-fixing.
This is not only a "simple" breach of sporting rules; it is also a criminal justice issue, and, I would add, an issue of public trust.
Manipulation in sports is increasingly seen as a violation that jeopardizes the integrity of competitions, and damages the social, educational and cultural values reflected by sports and international sporting events.
Moreover, links between match-fixing and other criminal activities have been identified as additional challenges for investigators and law enforcement authorities.
Match-fixing is increasingly being viewed as a crime that needs to be addressed through tailor-made legislative responses and effective investigative powers, particularly in view of its links with organized crime, corruption and money-laundering.
Given UNODC's in-house expertise on confronting all forms of crime, and years of experience with capacity building and technical assistance in these areas, our Office is well placed to provide tailored support to Member States, to address the links between match-fixing and organized crime, corruption, money-laundering and other forms of crime.
UNODC also remains committed to ensuring synergies with other stakeholders, to promote complementarities and avoid fragmentation of action.
A multi-stakeholder approach requires the involvement of different actors, from sporting bodies to public authorities and the private sector, including betting operators.
To promote this approach, UNODC has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Olympic Committee, and jointly with IOC produced a study on "Criminalization approaches to combat match-fixing and illegal betting".
Furthermore, we are working with ICSS for the elaboration of a manual on match-fixing and illegal betting, as well as their links with other criminal activities, for investigative and law enforcement authorities.
I am very pleased to announce that here today we are further strengthening these partnerships with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with ICSS.
The MoU will consolidate, develop and further our cooperation with ICSS to stop match fixing and illegal betting, as well as to safeguard against corruption in major sports events, with a particular focus on capacity building and the development of technical tools.
Working together, I am confident that we can help to stop the criminals and promote the integrity of sports.
My thanks once again, and I look forward to the productive outcomes of this event.