Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Lausanne, 22 Jan, 2008

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at an event dedicated to the Olympic Truce, ahead of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. With him is the Premier of British Columbia, Canada, Gordon Campbell. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

The ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheiria, or "Olympic Truce", was born in the eighth century B.C., serving as a hallowed principle of the Olympic Games. In 1992, the International Olympic Committee renewed this tradition by calling upon 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.

The Olympic movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for humankind through the educational value of sport. It brings together athletes from all parts of the world in the greatest of international sports events, the Olympic Games, and it aims to promote the maintenance of peace, mutual understanding and goodwill — goals it shares with the United Nations. As an expression of these common objectives, in 1998 the International Olympic Committee decided to fly the United Nations flag at all competition sites of the Olympic Games. The United Nations for its part, is expanding its cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic family at large through a number of agreements and partnerships.