The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.25 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
The mission of the International Olympic Committee is to ensure the successful delivery and celebration of the Olympic Games and to implement programmes that perpetrate the values of the Olympic Movement. It is to uphold the values originally promoted by its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, which are: the search for excellence; fair play; the joy found in effort; respect for others; and harmony between body and mind. The role of the IOC is to lead, coordinate and serve the Olympic Movement in its mission to spread the word of Olympism and to ensure the regular celebration of the Olympic Games.
The long-term partnership between the IOC and the CIFP dates back to 1974 when the President of the International Olympic Committee, Lord Killanin, along with the Director General of UNESCO, Mr René Maheu, accepted the invitation to become Honorary CIFP Presidents. Since that time the prevailing IOC President holds this honorary title.
The IOC and the CIFP together have conducted many initiatives in order to promote fair play. In addition, the IOC has awarded the CIFP the status of an 'officially recognised organisation by the IOC', and the CIFP regularly receives support from the IOC in its undertakings. Since 2013, the IOC and the CIFP hand out the 'IOC President's Prize for the Youth' to recognize junior athletes who are committed to the ideal of fair play.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization founded in 1945 is a specialised, known as the "intellectual" agency of the United Nations. As it is declared on the webiste of the organisation: 'UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity.
- UNESCO strives to build networks among nations that enable this kind of solidarity, by mobilizing for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development;
- building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value;
- pursuing scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies;
- protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.
UNESCO considers sport as a unique and effective educational tool and a fruitful area for international cooperation and consultation. UNESCO, therefore, decided in 1952 in Paris to make sport part of the Organisation's programme.
UNESCO is one of the Founding Members of the CIFP which was established in 1963 on the initiative of a number of international organisations. Besides inviting the Director General of Unesco, Mr René Maheu, to accept the title of Honorary President to CIFP in 1974 and earning a 'B Consultative Status' at UNESCO as an NGO in 1978, the CIFP has always worked in close cooperation with UNESCO. The latter hosted the annual World Fair Play Award ceremonies for almost thirty years in the UNESCO house in Paris. Moreover, it became a tradition that the Director General of UNESCO presented the prizes to the laureates. A number of fair play-related projects were developed and launched as a result of the collaboration between UNESCO and the CIFP. In 2002 UNESCO created a prize distributed every two years to reward distinguished services to physical education and sport.
The International Pierre de Coubertin Committee
The establishment of both the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee in 1975 and the CIFP was inspired by the spirit of a highly respected personality in the history of sport, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Initially, the CIFP was called International Committee for the Organisation of the Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Awards and its aim was to fight against chauvinism and violence in sport as well as to draw attention to acts of fair play. One of the main goals of The International Pierre de Coubertin Committee is to preserve the spiritual heritage of Pierre de Coubertin and to ensure that the ideals of excellence, fairness, participation and peace remain part of the overall philosophy of the Olympic Games. To this end the Committee collaborates with other institutions like the CIFP.
In 1951, the idea of creating Panathlon International began to form when seven individuals in Venice (athletes in leading positions in sports administration and Rotary and Lion service clubs) decided to promote the sporting ideal, focusing particularly on moral and social issues in the spirit of chivalry, a synonym for nobility and generosity in behaviour. Since its foundation, Panathlon International acts systematically and continously to spread the idea of sport inspired by the ethics of responsibility, the spirit of solidarity and fair play. This philosophy characterised the movement in its growth on both the European and American continents. The encounter and consensus between Panathlon and the CIFP was therefore explicit and the two organisations have cooperated since 1977.
According to Panathlon International fair play is a way of living, and through fair play sport becomes a "lesson in life".
International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE)
ICSSPE was founded in the late 1950s with the aims of maintaining an inclusive perspective on the different disciplines of sport, sport science and physical education, and of furthering a continuing collaboration between them. It brings together a wide range of scientific and professional organisations of various sport branches and disciplines, and creates the possibility for interdisciplinary collaboration.
ICSSPE is the world's largest network of organisations and institutions concerned with sport, sport science and physical education, accounting for millions of people. Among others, the Council belongs to the associated bodies of UNESCO and co-operates with the sport movement. By fostering sport, exercise, education and health, ICSSPE contributes to the development of human society. The organisation operates with the intention to
- Investigate for a better scientific understanding of all facets of human movement;
- Educate for a better quality of life and improved health for all people;
- Advocate for the benefits related to an active lifestyle and the ethical values inherent in sporting activity.
The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education is one of the founders of the CIFP.
The idea to unite the sports journalists of the world was first conceived in 1920 when many of them gathered at the Olympic Games in Antwerp. The International Sports Press Associaton was actually established in 1924 during the Paris Olympic Games where the first Congress of the organisation was held with the participation of 29 nations. The initial aims of AIPS incorporated in its original Statutes were as follows:
- To enhance the cooperation between its member associations in defending sport and the professional interest of their members.
- To strengthen friendship, solidarity and common interests between sports journalists of all countries.
- To assure the best possible working conditions for the members.
AIPS has been among the founding members of the CIFP and regularly supports its work and contributes to the success of its initiatives concerning the worldwide defence and promotion of fair play.
The European Fair Play Movement
With its headquarters in the Netherlands, the European Fair Play Movement was founded in 1994. The EFPM promotes and develops fair play in sport, education and everyday life, primarily in Europe. The EFPM reflects a philosophy of life abiding by universal ethical values seeking to create a better world in the spirit of fair play based on the educational value of good example through sport and to display pleasure found in sport with tolerance and respect for competitors.