|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fourth General Assembly
70th Meeting (AM)
General Assembly Notes its President’s Appeal for Members States
to Observe Olympic Truce, Strengthen Culture of Peace
Members also Adopt Text Reaffirming Commitment to Full
Implementation of Political Declaration on Africa’s Development Needs
Just days ahead of the opening of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, the General Assembly took note today of the solemn appeal made by its President to all United Nations Member States to observe the ancient tradition of the “Olympic Truce”, during which warring parties would stop fighting and lay down their arms in celebration of the Games.
Reading out his appeal (document A/64/646), Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki (Libya) said: “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 the ancient Greek tradition of ekecheiria, or “Olympic Truce”, born in the eighth century B.C., served as a hallowed principle of the Olympic Games. In 1992, the International Olympic Committee had renewed that tradition by calling on all nations to observe the Truce.
“Through its resolution 48/11 of 25 October 1993, the General Assembly urged 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. This appeal was renewed in the Millennium Declaration,” Mr. Treki said, adding that the Outcome of the Assembly’s 2005 World Summit emphasized that sports could foster peace and development, and encouraged Member States to foster a dialogue and agreed proposals for a plan of action on sport and development.
To that end, he said, on 19 October 2009, the Assembly had adopted a resolution urging Member States to observe, within the framework of the United Nations Charter, the Olympic Truce, individually and collectively, during the XXI Winter Olympic Games, to be held in Vancouver from 12 to 28 February 2010, and the X Paralympic Winter Games, to be held from 12 to 21 March 2010.
“The Olympic movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport,” he said, noting that the Games would bring together athletes from all parts of the world in the greatest of international sports events as a means to promote peace, mutual understanding and goodwill among nations and peoples —- “goals that are also part of the founding values of the United Nations”.
In other action today, the Assembly adopted a resolution taking note of the Secretary-General’s most recent progress report (document A/64/210) on the implementation of the recommendations contained in his report on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.
Welcoming recent developments in addressing such causes and other efforts in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding undertaken by African countries, African regional organizations and the United Nations system, the Assembly’s resolution (document A/64/L.39/Rev.1) reaffirmed the need to strengthen the synergy between the continent’s economic and social development programmes and its peace and security agenda.
Further by the text, the Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the full and speedy implementation of the provisions of the political declaration on Africa’s development needs. [The Assembly held its annual debate on matters related to Africa’s development and peace and security on the continent, including the progress of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on 20 and 21 October 2009. Fore more information, see Press Releases GA/10873 and GA/10874.]
The General Assembly will meet again at a date and time to be announced.
* *** *For information media • not an official record