South Korea hosted the 26th Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Seoul from Oct. 18-21. With 206 countries as members, ANOC is called the "United Nations of the sports world."
In a keynote speech at the General Assembly on Oct. 19, President Yoon Suk-yeol said, "The Republic of Korea has kept working in solidarity with the international community through the great sports festival that is the Olympics and jointly worked for global peace," adding, "The international community should cooperate to ensure that efforts toward freedom and solidarity through sports continue as shown by the IOC and ANOC."
"The spirit of freedom and solidarity pursued by the Korean government is never different from the Olympic spirit," he added. "We will do our best to embed the spirit of freedom and solidarity into the general sports sector and use sports to contribute to the international community."
Starting with an executive council meeting on Oct. 18, ANOC held its plenary meeting of the General Assembly at the Seoul COEX in the city's Gangnam-gu District on Oct. 19-20.
The session featured reports on ANOC's major activities and those of the organizing committee of the next Olympics and presentations on international sports trends.
On Oct. 21, participants in the event discussed issues at the ANOC workshop under the theme "Sustainability," a hot topic in international sports, featuring a presentation and discussion for the first time at the event.
This is the third time for Seoul to host the ANOC General Assembly, as it hosted the fifth in 1986 and 15th in 2006.
Of ANOC's 206 member countries, only North Korea and Guatemala did not attend the Seoul event. Around 1,300 people visited the nation's capital for the occasion including national Olympic committee delegations from 204 countries, ANOC executives, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, IOC Ethics Commission Chairman Ban Ki-moon and the heads of world governing bodies of each sport.