UN Headquarters

20 October 2009

Remarks at unveiling of Olympic Truce Sculpture

Ban Ki-moon

Monsieur l'Ambassadeur [John] McNee,
Chers invités,
Chers amis,

Je suis très honoré de dévoiler cette belle sculpture, dédiée à la trêve, en l'honneur des jeux olympiques et paralympiques d'hiver de 2010 qui se tiendront à Vancouver.

Je suis heureux de savoir que cette sculpture restera à l'ONU un mois avant d'être envoyée au village olympique. C'est un symbole dynamique des liens qui existent entre les jeux olympiques internationaux et notre mouvement mondial pour la paix.

Comme vous le savez peut-être, je me suis récemment rendu à Copenhague pour le Congrès olympique. Il y avait de l'excitation dans l'air, en raison de la sélection de la ville qui accueillera les jeux de 2016, mais aussi un enthousiasme palpable pour l'action générale du mouvement. Notre partenariat est utile et de plus en plus étroit.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also celebrating the General Assembly's adoption yesterday of the Olympic Truce resolution.

I thank Canada for its initiative in bringing us this Sculpture, and for introducing the resolution, which enjoys more support than virtually any of the hundreds of other measures passed by the Assembly each year.

Cynics criticize the Truce resolution, saying it is just words on paper. But we at the United Nations know better than anybody else. Although we have not yet succeeded in halting all fighting during the Olympic Games, we have negotiated many meaningful truces over the years.

These pauses in fighting save lives. They make it possible for humanitarian workers to reach people in need. And they open up diplomatic space to negotiate lasting solutions.

A truce is a prelude to true peace.

I met with the Vice President of the IOC this afternoon and I reassured him that as we are closing near the Olympic Games, I will make my own statement asking all [people] of the world to observe this Olympic Truce.

So it is with great expectation that I unveil this new Truce Sculpture. I hope that when athletes meet in Vancouver in 2010, fighters will lay down their arms. Then the Olympic Games will have one clear winner: our world as a whole.

Thank you.