PyeongChang Winter Olympics to Serve as Platform for Sustainable World


An article by Oh Soo-young, KBS World Radio News.

Anchor: With three days left until the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, an event in Seoul on Tuesday aimed to shine a spotlight on how the global sporting event can bring the world together in efforts to achieve social and environmental sustainability. Our Oh Sooyoung was at the event.

Report: The Olympics are not just a stage of athletic skill and sportsmanship but a global platform to build a better and more sustainable world. 

That was the over-arching theme of a “talk concert” held on Tuesday in central Seoul, co-hosted by the PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee, the South Korean government and seven UN agencies in South Korea. 

Former Olympians and various opinion leaders emphasized how the Olympic Games can contribute to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) which include improving livelihoods and empowering women and youth. 

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Questions for this article:

Can Korea be reunified in peace?

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United Nation Development Programme(UNDP) Seoul Policy Centre Director Balázs Horváth said a core principle of sustainable development is “leaving no one behind” – a value that resonates with the spirit of the Olympics. 

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre’s Director Balázs Horváth: “Sports is a valuable tool for promoting a just, peaceful and inclusive society. They help promote social inclusion, build trust and foster a culture of peace between groups, even groups that are in conflict. Help empower individuals and communities, especially for women and young children.” 

Beyond the sporting events, achieving sustainable peace and development are critical objectives for the games in PyeongChang. 

The PyeongChang Olympic Committee strives to preserve nature, revitalize local communities by supporting tourism and job creation as well as regional development using clean and affordable energy, according to the UN director. 

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre’s Director Balázs Horváth: “It contributes towards building industry and infrastructure. The KTX train that takes people to the Olympics. It contributes to clean water and sanitation – another SDG. Affordable and clean energy. Also, the way they are placing great emphasis on renewable energy and saving energy contributes to climate action, another SDG.” 

Organizers hope the PyeongChang Olympics will serve as an opportunity for the world to come together to create a better future.