Positive progress ahead of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly has been welcomed by its President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah here today.
Preparations for the two-day annual Assembly, due to take on Friday and Saturday (November 7 and 8) was a key focus of today's Executive Council meeting, with many of the issues on the agenda there discussed.
This included preparations for the inaugural World Beach Games, a collaborative project between ANOC and SportAccord, which is set to launch in 2017.
A final decision will be taken by the General Assembly as to whether the Games go ahead, with more precise timing and locations to be confirmed thereafter.
Sheikh Ahmad claimed there has been interest from a lot of cities and that the Games will be a success from both a financial and technical point of view.
A new article in the ANOC Constitution requiring each Continental Association to elect at least one female among their representatives on the ANOC Executive Council was also discussed and will be voted upon at the General Assembly.
The Assembly will be by far the largest one ever held by ANOC, with 204 NOC members, along with observer representatives from Kosovo and Macao present and approximately 40 International Olympic Committee members and 14 International Federations.
Following their meetings yesterday and earlier today, the Council also heard updates from all nine ANOC Commissions and Working Groups, including the Youth Commission, chaired by British Olympic Association chairman Sebastian Coe and consisting otherwise of young representatives.
Recent work undertaken by the International Olympic Committee was also praised, with the Assembly "unanimously supporting" all of the recommendations made by the IOC Executive Board last month as part of Olympic Agenda 2020.
This reform process will "shape the future development of the Olympic Movement", Sheikh Ahmad said, adding "we have every confidence that under President [Thomas] Bach's leadership these recommendations will benefit not just the NOCs, but all Olympic stakeholders".
"At ANOC we are currently undergoing our own process of self-analysis and evaluation," he said.
"These plans will play an integral part in ensuring that ANOC continues to improve the support it offers all 204 of its NOCs.
"Our function is to empower the NOCs so they can adapt and contribute to this new Olympic Movement under the leadership of President Bach and Olympic Agenda 2020."
Bach, who was present to open the meeting today, in turn thanked ANOC for their support, especially for conducting their "own strategic review to seek new ways to advance the goals of the Olympic Movement and serve our 204 NOCs".
He will provide a more detailed Address to open the General Assembly on Friday, while Sheikh Ahmad and Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha are also due to speak.
The opening day of the Assembly will be followed by the first ever ANOC Gala Awards Ceremony, where leading NOCs and athletes from both the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympic Games will be recognised in front of more than 900 guests.
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