Kosovo NOC organized first SIGA Regional Summit

Thursday,  06 September 2018

The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) held with great success its first ever Regional Summit on Sports Integrity.
Hosted by the Kosovo National Olympic Committee (NOC) in Pristina on 05-06 September 2018, the SIGA Regional Summit brought together influential leaders in sport, government, business and civil society to address the most pressing governance challenges facing sport in the region and foster collective action.
Headed by SIGA’s CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, a high-level delegation was officially received by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr Ramush Haradinaj. Recognising the significant role of sport, both parties agreed to maintain close dialogue and cooperation with a view to enhancing sports governance and integrity in the country and the region through the adoption of the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance, Financial Integrity, Sports Betting Integrity and Youth Development and Child Protection.
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of Kosovo, Kujtim Gashi opened the SIGA Regional Summit alongside the President of Kosovo’s National Olympic Committee Besim Hasani and the SIGA CEO.  The Summit brought together several sports chiefs, including the Presidents and Director Generals of the NOCs of Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia and Portugal. The participants shared diverse perspectives on pragmatic actions and called for the adoption of the SIGA Universal Standards to tackle the current challenges facing sport in the Balkans.
Panel discussions focused on best practices in good governance and sports betting integrity, the future of sport with respect to financial integrity, transparency and international cooperation as well as gender equality, diversity and the prevention of violence and abuse in sport. For more information on the agenda, please click here.
Olympian Gold Medallist Majlinda Kelmendi Appointed SIGA Champion
During the Summit, Majlinda Kelmendi, Kosovo´s first-ever Olympic gold medal winner, was appointed SIGA Champion. She said: “I strongly support SIGA’s work to make sure that sport can be protected and safeguarded against those who do not believe in the principles of fair play and fair competition. As an Olympic gold medallist, I know how hard athletes and players work. We need to be supported to do this, not challenged by poor governance or corruption or people who lack integrity.”
Prime Minister Haradinaj said: “We share the same vision of a world guided by good governance standards. The SIGA mission embodies this at its best. I believe every government should align with and support SIGA and cooperate to safeguard the sporting and Olympic values, human rights and also ensure access, opportunity, respect and equality for all.”
Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA stated: “Sport is facing a unique decisive moment. It is time to transform words into actions and make the long overdue reforms in the sports industry. Today Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro are at the forefront of this change. I am proud to say SIGA is here to support you. This SIGA Regional Summit shows that we mean business and that we deliver what we promise.”

Besim Hasani, President of the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo stated: “It is a great honour for the Kosovo NOC to host the first SIGA Regional Summit in Pristina and invite neighbouring NOCs to share best practice in accordance with the reforms advocated by SIGA. The SIGA Regional Summit provides a unique opportunity for the National Federations in Kosovo and neighbouring areas to hear from local and international experts on the subject of sport integrity. Good governance and integrity are necessary preconditions to having credible sports organisations and events. We are proud to be a SIGA Founding Member and look forward to implementing the SIGA Universal Standards that are useful tools to help sports federations enhance their governance structures and systems.”

Vasil Tupurkovski, President of the National Olympic Committee of Macedonia stated: “Times are fast and things are easy to remain the same. It is with intent to action, principles and strong standards and criteria that we can measure the effectiveness of any organisation’s good governance. With this in mind, the role of SIGA is meaningful and instrumental for success. I congratulate this event for enabling ways for further regional cooperation on the implementation of SIGA’s Universal Standards.”

Viron Bezhani, President of the National Olympic Committee of Albania stated:

“This SIGA Summit is an extraordinary event for our region. I congratulate Kosovo’s NOC President Besim Hasani that has brought this Summit to the Balkans. The SIGA Principles are not only a tool for good governance among sport organisations, but also a model to benchmark against. This is a much needed initiative and I encourage regional cooperation for implementation at all levels.”

Dusan Simonovic, President of the National Olympic Committee of Montenegro stated:

“I thank the President of Kosovo’s NOC Besim Hasani for inviting me. It is the first time that this event takes place in the region, and we, from small countries, can come together and discuss these topics. It has been a great experience and we definitely need to implement what we have heard today at our sport federations in our countries.”

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