The Occasion of Australia’s Signature of the Macolin Convention
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Minister(s), ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be here in Sydney for Australia’s signature of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions – also known as the Macolin Convention – a treaty that is owned by the Council of Europe but open to the world.
This event is a clear statement of your country’s political commitment to the terms of the Convention, its rapid ratification and its entry into force.
This is the only international, legally-binding instrument that can secure and sustain effective global co-operation against the manipulation of sports.
Match-fixing, illegal betting, bad governance, insider information, conflicts of interest, and the use of clubs as shell companies:
All of these are covered by the Convention’s wide scope, with a rule-of-law centred approach that takes into account the impact of these wrongs on society as a whole.
The Macolin Convention also draws on the Council of Europe’s experience and capacity to develop an inclusive co-operation framework with states and other international stakeholders, sharing with them our deep experience in standard setting and monitoring mechanisms.
It is very clear that Australia shares our enthusiasm for that approach.
The Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements was crystal clear that this country should become a party to Macolin Convention.
And your country is already making a significant contribution to our Group of Copenhagen.
That’s the forum in which states share experience, provide guidance and harmonise practice between their National Platforms.
And this really matters – because it is the National Platforms that act as co-ordination points, helping to implement the Convention’s standards.
Australia’s Sports Betting Integrity Unit, with its full law enforcement powers, is clearly already making a major contribution – and this we very much welcome.
Ladies and gentlemen, Australia is the 32nd country to sign this Convention, signalling the wide and growing appreciation for its contribution to the integrity of sports.
Others from Africa, North America and South America have indicated their interest in joining too.
But yours is the first signature from outside Europe – and that is significant.
Significant because it signals the fact that while sports, sports structures and sports bodies vary around the world, they still face common problems to which there are common solutions.
In Spring of this year our Keep Crime Out of Sport project will host a regional seminar in Fiji with the participation of Australia and which will be open to countries throughout the Pacific region.
For many potential participants, this will be their first contact with the Convention – and, for those who are interested, it will also be a gateway to the technical assistance and action plans that could lead them to become Parties to the Convention too.
We are excited by this opportunity, and of course we look in particular to Australia’s experience in the region to help us make the most of this opportunity.
So let me finish by saying again how pleased we are in the Council of Europe to welcome this great, sporting nation into the Macolin fold.
I am very confident that it is the beginning of a great success story from which sport, its participants and spectators can only benefit.And I offer my sincerest congratulations, Minister, on the occasion of Australia’s signature.