President of the UN General Assembly makes Solemn Appeal to observe the Olympic Truce29 June 2012
New York/Geneva (UNOSDP) – The President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, made a Solemn Appeal on the observance of the Olympic Truce (document A/66/862) during today’s plenary meeting of the General Assembly.
The President recalled that on 17 October 2011, the Assembly adopted resolution 66/5, which urges Member States to observe, within the framework of the Charter, the Olympic Truce, individually and collectively, throughout the period beginning with the start of the Games of the XXX Olympiad, on 27 July, and ending with the close of the XIV Paralympic Games, on 9 September, both to be held in London, United Kingdom (see press release here).
As an expression of the shared objectives with the United Nations to promote peace, mutual understanding and goodwill among nations and peoples, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to fly the United Nations flag at the Olympic Park. With the IOC becoming Permanent Observer at the UN General Assembly in 2009, the two Organizations have since strengthened their mutual cooperation and support through joint endeavours in fields such as poverty alleviation, human and economic development, humanitarian assistance, health promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention, child and youth education, gender equality, peacebuilding and sustainable development.
Mr. Al-Nasser said, “As President of the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session, I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games”, urging Member States 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. The President concluded his Appeal by calling “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.”
In 1992, the IOC renewed the ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheira, or Olympic Truce, by calling upon all nations to observe it. Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has adopted a Resolution every two years—for the Summer and Winter Games—urging UN Member States to adhere to the Truce. Since 2005, the Olympic Truce includes the period of the subsequently held Paralympic Games. The Solemn Appeal made by the President in the lead-up to the Games has been a tradition with the intention to underline the commitment made by the Member States.