The 46th edition of the UN's Inter-Agency Games, a sports festival that brings together close to 1500 members from the four corners of the world in Lisbon, was officially inaugurated yesterday, April 30, by the Portuguese Minister of Culture and UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Administration and Management, in a ceremony that took place at the beautiful Lisbon Greenhouse.
Graça Fonseca, the Portuguese Minister of Culture, invited UN officials to get to know Lisbon and its heritage, while João Paulo Rebelo, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, emphasised the role of sports as a tool for peace and union between people.
Nicholas Jeffreys, Assistant Director-General for Administration and Management for UNESCO underlined the importance of the games for building the team spirit within the organisation.
Finally, Ibrahim Albalawi, Ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO, welcomed the participants in the sporting event and reaffirmed his country’s determination in supporting UNESCO endeavours all over the world.
Afterwards, to the sound of a "tuna" (traditional band composed of university students) from Instituto Superior Técnico, all participants got to try delicious traditional Portuguese food and wine.
The competition, in 13 different sports disciplines, began this morning at several of Lisbon's sports facilities. UNESCO choose Move Sports as the organiser of the Inter-Agency Games in an international tender process. The Portuguese sports events management company played a pivotal role in bringing the event to Lisbon for the first time since its inception in 1968.