UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for the Olympic Truce to be observed

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for the Olympic Truce to be observed. Pic/IOC
UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for the Olympic Truce to be observed. Pic/IOC

Geneva, January 29: To mark the start of the Olympic Truce , United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres sent a message to “call on everyone to observe the Olympic Truce during the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The Olympic Truce calls on all parties to stop hostilities throughout the course of the Games. With conflict spreading and tensions rising, this appeal represents a chance to overcome differences and find paths towards lasting peace.”

The Olympic Truce came into force from yesterday, 28 January, seven days before the start of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and will remain in effect until 20 March 2022, seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games.

“In a few days, our human family will come together in Beijing for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The top athletes from around the world have a date with history, in a spirit of mutual understanding, hard work and fair play. This spirit inspires us all,” the UN Secretary-General continued.

“As we strive to end the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s unite for a safer, more prosperous and sustainable future for all. Through the power of sports and the Olympic ideal, let us build a culture of peace.”

In his Lunar New Year message to the Chinese people, the UN Secretary-General thanked China and the Chinese people for their “commitment to multilateralism and to the United Nations”, and said: “Soon, I will attend the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Olympic spirit shines as a beacon to human solidarity and I look forward to safe and successful Games.”

A solemn appeal to the UN Member States for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was made by the President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, earlier this month, following the resolution adopted in December 2021.

Entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal”, the Olympic Truce Resolution was adopted by consensus of all 193 UN Member States and co-sponsored by 173 Member States at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 2 December 2021. It demonstrates the recognition by the UN’s international community of the power of sport and the relevance of the Olympic Games to bring the world together in peaceful competition, providing hope for a better future.

The Olympic Truce – a tradition for more than 3,000 years

The tradition of the Olympic Truce – “Ekecheiria” – has been to ensure a halt of all hostilities, allowing the safe passage and participation of athletes and spectators taking part in the Olympic Games. The resolution reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are as important across the world today as they were over 3,000 years ago, when the ancient Olympic Games first took place in Greece.

The main objectives pursued by the IOC through the Olympic Truce are to mobilise young people for the promotion of the Olympic ideal; to use sport to help build bridges between communities in conflict; and, more generally, to create a window of opportunity for dialogue and reconciliation.

Courtesy : IOC

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