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General Assembly resolution upholds the Olympic Truce

The United Nations and the Olympic flags raised at UN Headquarters. (file)
UN Photo/Evan Schneider
The United Nations and the Olympic flags raised at UN Headquarters. (file)

General Assembly resolution upholds the Olympic Truce

Peace and Security

Ahead of the Summer Olympics in Paris next year, the UN General Assembly has urged countries to maintain the ancient Greek tradition of observing peace before, during and after the Games.

This follows the adoption on Tuesday of a resolution that calls for a cessation of hostilities globally starting seven days before the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and ending seven days after they conclude.

The General Assembly comprises all 193 UN Member States, and 120 voted on the resolution.  It received 118 votes in favour and none against, with Russia and Syria abstaining.

Safe passage for athletes

The Paris Olympics will be held from 26 July to 11 August.

The resolution calls for observing the Olympic Truce “to ensure the safe passage, access and participation of athletes, officials and all other accredited persons taking part in the Games of the Olympiad and the Paralympic Games, and to contribute through other appropriate measures to the safe organization of the Games.”

It recognizes that sport “can be used to promote human rights and strengthen universal respect for such rights, thus contributing to their full realization.”

“The values instilled in athletes – discipline, teamwork, the sheer will to succeed and perseverance – are the very same values that can motivate and shape the leaders and contributors of tomorrow,” said UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis in a message read ahead of the vote.

It was delivered on his behalf by Vice-President Peter Mohan Maithri Pieris.

Keeping the tradition

The ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheiria, or Olympic Truce, was born in the eighth century BC and renewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1992.

The resolution has also become a UN tradition as it is up for consideration every two years, in advance of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.