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Russia and UK join hands to promote the Olympic Truce

28 May 2012
Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, meeting with volunteers for the 2014 Sochi Games. © UK in Russia

Geneva (UNOSDP) – Today in Moscow, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and the newly re-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, agreed, through a joint declaration, “to promote and support the ideals of the Olympic Truce.” The announcement took place during an official visit of the UK Minister to the Russian capital.

As hosts of the next two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the two countries agreed to “use the unique opportunity for UK and Russia to cooperate closely to promote the ideals of the Olympic Truce.” In particular they agreed “support the contribution of youth, women and those with disabilities in promoting peace through sport, culture, education, sustainable development and wider public engagement.”

They also agreed “to work together and with other partners such as Brazil as a host of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the International Olympic Truce Centre, International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee,” as well as to “reflect progress made at UN level through the UN Office on Sport for Development for Peace.”

“This summer sees the arrival of the London Olympics and we are working closely with our Russian partners to share experiences ahead of Sochi 2014, including through a Host-to-Host agreement,” Minister Hague declared.

“In recognition of our shared roles at Olympic Hosts in 2012 and 2014, we have today agreed a joint declaration on the Olympic Truce. We have agreed to use the unique opportunity for UK and Russia as hosts to cooperate closely to promote the ideals of the Truce,” he added.

This is a further step after Russia and the UK had joined a record number of all 193 UN Member States who co-sponsored the General Assembly Resolution “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” on 17 October 2011 in New York.

During his visit, Mr Hague also met with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Russia’s Minister for Sport Valery Mutko, and Chairman of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko.

The Foreign Secretary emphasised that as Russia prepares for the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2018 FIFA World Cup (and other global events such as Formula 1, World Ice Hockey, Rugby Sevens and world athletics), the joint sporting links between the two countries were set to get still stronger.

To date, many UN agencies, funds, programmes and offices have cooperated closely and successfully with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, Local Organizing Committees and national authorities to promote sustainable development and peace through and around mega-sports events.

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