The United Nations is calling for the traditional age-old truce during the XXI Winter Olympics which open in Vancouver, Canada, this Friday, urging warring parties to lay down their arms as the Games’ ancient Greek founders did some 2,700 years ago.
“The Olympic Truce brings hope of at least a temporary respite from violence and armed conflict,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on the ancient Greek tradition of born in the eighth century BC.
“It also draws attention to a terrible paradox. At the Olympics and throughout the year, we rightly honour the outstanding achievements of the human body and the positive social values of competitive sport, including team spirit and fairness. Yet all too often, through the carnage of war, we do damage to that same human body, and to our shared values.”
The General Assembly took note of a similar message from Assembly President Ali Treki, who recalled that, who recalled the 192-member body’s call in a 1993 resolution for all Member States to observe the Olympic Truce from the seventh day before the opening to the seventh day following the closing of each Olympic Games.
“I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and to undertake concrete actions at the local, national, regional and world levels to promote and strengthen a culture of peace and harmony based on the spirit of the Truce,” he said.