February 3 - United Nations (UN) secretary general Ban Ki-moon will deliver the keynote address to open the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session here on Wednesday (Feburary 4).
The news, announced this afternoon by IOC President Thomas Bach, will mark the first occasion a UN secretary general has addressed an IOC Session.
It will also reverse the situation seen last November when Bach spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York - and similar themes encompassing the wider role of the Olympics in society can be expected again.
Speaking in a relaxed fashion here following yesterday's IOC Executive Board Meeting, Bach described how the IOC was "very honoured" by Ban Ki-moon's presence and looks forward to an "inspiring" speech.
He also described the IOC Session as the first step in an unprecedented "dialogue for change", with the outcomes of the debate to be discussed ahead of key decisions being made at December's Extraordinary Session in Monte Carlo.
Speaking more specifically about the various areas the debate will address, Bach highlighted once again the prospect of new sports being added to a more flexible Olympic programme.
He expressed hope the discussion will be related to procedural issues rather than specific sports, and highlighted the decision to introduce demonstration events in sport climbing, roller sports and skateboarding to the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic programme less than a year before the Games take place, as evidence of this more ad-hoc approach.
Although he stands by the importance of the seven-year rule on introducing new sports onto the programme, he also admitted that if IOC members, sporting federations and Organising Committees all agree on a particular sport, the seven-year rule is "effectively obsolete".
Bach also suggested changes to the Olympic Charter remain possible - describing it as "not set in stone" as "we have to evolve and adapt to modern times".
"The principles are the same - concerning the role of sport in society - but if amendments to the Charter are required to maintain this I'm sure IOC members will be ready to do so," he predicted.
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December 2013: Olympic Agenda 2020 proposed by Bach to be discussed at Extraordinary IOC Session in Monte Carlo
December 2013: Sporting "flexibility" emphasised by Bach as new sports announced for Nanjing 2014
November 2013: IOC President reiterates values of Olympic Truce at United Nations ahead of Sochi 2014