In the wake of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games—where gay rights became a big part of the story— the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations signed an agreement on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), vowing to “use sport to build a better world.”
“Sport can change the world, but it cannot change the world alone,” IOC President Thomas Bach said after signing the accord in New York with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Bach added: “The Olympic movement is willing and ready to make its contribution to the most laudable efforts of the United Nations to maintain and build peace and to bring along social change.”
Leading up to and during the Sochi Games, Russia’s government came under fire because of the country’s newly adopted anti-gay law. There were calls for the IOC to add sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy in its charter. Olympic officials have so far declined to take that step.
After Monday’s announcement, which was short on details, Bach mentioned “social, racial, political background” but not gay rights specifically. The IOC leader seemed to refer to the turmoil in Ukraine in calling for peaceful political dialogue.