What is the Olympic Truce?

  • What is the Olympic Truce?

    The “Olympic Truce” or “Ekecheiria” is a tradition that was established in Ancient Greece in the 9th century B.C. by the signature of a treaty between three kings. Subsequently, all the other Greek cities ratified this “international agreement”, thanks to which permanent, recognised immunity of the sanctuary of Olympia and the region of Elis became a reality. During the Truce period, the athletes, artists and their families, as well as ordinary pilgrims, could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries.

    In 1991, the IOC decided to revive the concept of the Olympic Truce on the occasion of the Olympic Games, with a view to protecting, as far as possible, the interests of the athletes and sport in general, and to contribute to the search for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the world’s conflicts. 

    Since 1993, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly expressed its support for the IOC by unanimously adopting, every two years, a year before each edition of the Olympic Games, a resolution entitled "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal". Through this (symbolic) resolution, the UN invites its member States to observe the Olympic Truce individually or collectively, and to seek, in conformity with the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter, the peaceful settling of all international conflicts through peaceful and diplomatic means, recognising the importance of the IOC’s initiatives for human well-being and international understanding.

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