UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday congratulated Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian people, the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for having successfully concluded the 2016 Olympic Games.
The secretary-general, in a statement read to the press here by his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, voiced deep appreciation "for the hospitality, diversity and capabilities of the Brazilian people and the world of sport, displayed" at the first-ever Olympic Games in South America.
Ban recalled, with pleasure and honour, his participation at the opening ceremony, in the Olympic Torch relay, visit to the Olympic Village and attending some of the events, Dujarric said.
Meanwhile, the secretary-general also applauded the historic achievement and encouraged all stakeholders "to secure and build on the sustainable development effects of the Games," Dujarric said.
Ban recalled his meeting with the 10-member Refugee Olympic Team that participated in the Games under the Olympic flag, the spokesman said.
The team, supported by the UN refugee agency and the IOC, brought global attention to the global refugee crisis and served as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide.
The Rio Games welcomed the debut of a refugees team. Without winning any medals, their appearance alone was enough to send an encouraging message to 60 million people who were forced to flee home.
After 16 days of sporting excitement, the 2016 Olympic Games lowed its curtain in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, officially closed the Games, saying that "These were marvellous Olympic Games in the marvellous city."