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11-05-2004, 03:23 PM
Roger Federer was at the United Nations in New York on Friday where he took part in the UN's announcement of 2005 as the “International Year of Sport and Physical Education.”

Federer, the world No. 1, was on-hand for the announcement as it was made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, along with UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Adolf Ogi, Michael Kleiner, the head of the UN office in Geneva that has been planning the year of sport, and defending New York City Marathon women's champion Margaret Okayo.

“It is a great that a Year of Sport is being launched,” Federer remarked during the press conference. “It really is a special honor for me, as a representative of one of the newest UN member states, to be here.”

Federer's home country of Switzerland joined the UN in 2002.

The UN used the press conference to unveil its plans for a year-long push to highlight the power of sport to bridge cultural and ethnic divides and improve the quality of people's lives. The aim of the year is to encourage the use of sports to promote education, health, development and peace.

Annan opened the event with remarks, and called Federer a “great champion” while thanking him for participating in the announcement.

Federer was asked to take part in the event by Ogi, a former Swiss cabinet minister. Federer's involvement was much to the delight of Kleiner.

“Federer not only plays very good tennis, but he also shows great respect for opponents both on and off the court,” he said. “He is an embodiment of what this international year stands for.”

Federer headed to Houston after the announcement to continue rehabilitation from his thigh injury and to prepare for the Tennis Masters Cup that gets begins Nov. 13.