ROME, NOVEMBER 13 – The United Nations Olympics will be back in Italy in 2018. The next edition of the Inter-Agency Games, to be held in Montecatini Terme from May 2 to 6, will be organized by IFAD. The event will bring to the Tuscan spa city over a thousand people, between diplomats working for the UN and their families, coming from 47 different Countries and five continents.
The first edition of the Games was much smaller. In 1968 the “Commission des Sports de l’Association du Personnel de l’UNESCO” organized an omnisports meeting in Paris against a team from UN Geneva. Both organizations continued organizing omnisports meetings in 1969 and 1970.
In 1971, UN Geneva organised the first multi-institutional sports competition in Champéry, Switzerland. Ten organizations of the UN System with offices in Europe participated. The Games included the following disciplines: chess, football, table tennis, tennis and men’s volleyball.
Thus the United Nations Inter-Agency Games were initiated and the principle of alternating the venue and the responsibility for the organization of the Games among the UN organizations in Geneva, Rome, Vienna and Paris were adopted. General Rules for the Games were adopted and a Control Commission established to assure their adherence.
Over the years, the Games have developed from 5 disciplines and some 350 participants to 13 disciplines and more than 1000 participants. At the outset the purpose of the Games was modestly defined as ” to enable the staff members of the Agencies and organizations of the United Nations family to know each other through sports meetings and thereby to improve mutual understanding and working relations ” (Article 1 of the General Rules). In 2001 the IAG were organized by ITU and they were held, for the first time in a country other than the traditional ones (Austria, France, Italy or Switzerland): was held in Alicante, Spain. The latest edition, last May in Vienna, was in charge of IAEA. (@OnuItalia)