The EMF President and Mayor of the city Odesa Mr. Gennadiy Trukhanov signed a Paris Declaration of commitment to prevent AIDS, and joined the movement initiated by the Mayor of Paris and UNAISD in 2014. The signing also carries a symbolic meaning as Paris is one of possible venues for the European Championships in 2017.

European Muaythai Federation (EMF) is the governing body for Muaythai in Europe and athletes’ safety is one of the main provisions for holding competitions. The Rules and Regulations for each event starts from a medical examination which includes a check for Hepatitis and HIV. It’s IFMA’s and EMF’s task to make sure that each athlete is eligible to compete on the highest level, and the Paris Declaration is a big step towards combating HIV through muaythai competitions.

The ceremony gathered representatives from the Centre of Public Health, UN Secretary General special envoy on HIV/AIDS in EECA Michel Kazatchkine, representatives of the UN family from Ukraine, including UNAIDS, UNICEF, representatives of the Embassy of France, representatives of the Network of People Living with HIV, Alliance for Public Health and other civil society organizations, Olena Pinchuk Anti-AIDS Foundation, and partners of the city AIDS response programs.

Muaythai has always been more than a competition. Muaythai under IFMA became a powerful social engine to benefit those in need. A recent agreement with UNWomen and UNESCO proves that sport can truly make a positive change, and so many people around the world have felt how muaythai can influence lives regardless of race, religion, cultural belief and age. The Spirit of Sport award was given to muaythai by SportAccord as a sign of outstanding contribution to the youth around the world.

Signing the Declaration will give muaythai athletes a chance to learn more about and reflect on important issues they are facing in their daily life. The sport of muaythai is ready to use its resources and power to engage into HIV / AIDS prevention, and Mr. Gennadiy Trukhanov signing the Declaration in his capacity of Odesa Mayor is a great move towards another victory outside the field of play.