29 January 2014

Just Ahead of Winter Olympics in Russian Federation, General Assembly President Appeals to Member States to Uphold Spirit of Olympic Truce

29 January 2014
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly


73rd Meeting (PM)

Just Ahead of Winter Olympics in Russian Federation, General Assembly President

Appeals to Member States to Uphold Spirit of Olympic Truce


Assembly Adopts Resolution Endorsing Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

One week before the Olympic Winter Games were set to begin in the Russian Federation, the President of the General Assembly called on Member States to take concrete steps to promote and strengthen a culture of peace and harmony based on the spirit of the Olympic Truce.   

“I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games,” John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) said this afternoon in a brief meeting of the Assembly.

“Ialso call 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,” he said, reading out an appeal contained in document A/68/710, which the Assembly took note of, under its agenda item “sport for peace and development”.

In 1992, the International Olympic Committee renewed the original tradition of the Olympic Truce practised in ancient times and called on all nations to observe the Truce.  The following year, through resolution 48/11, the Assembly urged Member States to observe it from the seventh day before the opening to the seventh day following the closing of each Olympic Games.  Last year, the Assembly, by resolution 68/9, urged continuation of that observance both individually and collectively, within the framework of the United Nations Charter, for the XII Olympic Winter Games scheduled for 7 February, until the seventh day following the end of the XI Paralympic Winter Games, on 16 March.

“The Olympic movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport, in particular youth,” Mr. Ashe said in the appeal.  In bringing together athletes from around the world, the Games served to promote peace, mutual understanding and good will among nations and peoples.

He said that the International Olympic Committee had decided to fly the United Nations flag at Olympic Park, and the United Nations system and the International Olympic Committee had strengthened their mutual cooperation and support through joint endeavours in such fields as human development, poverty alleviation, humanitarian assistance, health promotion, HIV/AIDS prevention, child and youth education, gender equality, peacebuilding and sustainable development.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly adopted a resolution (document A/68/L.36*) that endorsed the fundamental principles of official statistics, adopted by the Statistical Commission in 1994, reaffirmed in 2013, and endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 2013/21.  Introducing the text, which contained a list of the 10 principles, Csaba Körösi (Hungary) highlighted the critical role of official statistics in analysis and informed policy decision-making to support sustainable development, peace and security.   

At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly took note of document A/68/716, by which the Secretary-General informed the Assembly President that 18 Member States were in arrears in their financial contributions to the United Nations under the terms of Article 19 of the Charter.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.