Ahead of next month’s Olympics and Paralympics in the Republic of Korea (ROK), United Nations General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák on Friday appealed to all UN Member States to observe the historic 'Olympic Truce' during the Games.
“I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic 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,” said Mr. Lajčák.
He also called upon all warring parties of current armed conflicts around the world to “boldly agree to true mutual ceasefires for the duration of the Olympic Truce, thus providing an opportunity to settle disputes peacefully.”
The ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheira, or ‘Olympic Truce,’ began in the eighth century B.C., and serves as a hallowed principle of the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) renewed this tradition in 1992 by calling upon all nations to observe the Truce.
The Peyonchang Olympics will be held 9-25 February and the Paralympics 9-18 March.
On 13 November last year, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that urges Member States to observe the truce individually and collectively throughout the period from the seventh day before the start of the Olympics until the seventh day following the end of the Paralympics.
The Assembly also expressed its expectation that “Pyeongchang 2018 will be a meaningful opportunity to foster an atmosphere of peace, development, tolerance and understanding on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.”
In a statement on 9 January, UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the decision of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to send a delegation to the Olympic Winter Games.