Memorandum of Cooperation signed between City of Athens and "Athens 2011" Special Olympics Organising Committee
A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed Tuesday between the City of Athens and the Athens 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organising Committee during an intensely emotional ceremony at Kotzia Square in Athens, Greece. As of that moment, the Special Olympics flag is waving next to that of the City of Athens in front of Athens City Hall.
In a special ceremony that took place in the "Dimokratia" Hall, City of Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis noted: "The idea of the Special Olympics gives meaning and content to universal human values, more or less forgotten, such as social solidarity, contribution to society and love for our fellow humans. For this reason, our meeting here today and the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation, in addition to its practical aspect, also serves a symbolic function. It gives us the opportunity to remember that volunteerism is the surest route to a more human and communal society. It brings out sensitivities and reminds us that communal action and contribution to society concern us all."
The Memorandum of Cooperation includes, among other things, the concession of the City of Athens' campsite in Agios Andreas as accommodation for athletes and their escorts; the provision of all services available at the campsite; cooperation in the planning of communication programmes for the event; the contribution of the City of Athens in promoting and ensuring the success of the Volunteer Programme; the joint hosting of events; the concession of city personnel to serve the needs of the "Athens 2011" World Games; and the City's cooperation in implementing the "Polis-Amphitrion" (Host Town) Programme.
Also present at the event was General Secretary for Sports Panos Bitsaxis, who said: "We are experiencing the beginning of one of the greatest events to raise social awareness, which will take place in Greece in 2011. We thank the Mayor of Athens and the city of Athens very much for decisively contributing to the implementation of this event. It is an event that symbolises athletic competition, but also symbolises social acceptance. That is the significance of the event that we are called upon to serve."