To mark the start of the Olympic Truce, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres sent a message to “call on all parties to conflict to observe the Olympic Truce during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. People and nations can build on this temporary respite to establish lasting ceasefires and find paths towards sustainable peace.”
“In a few days, athletes from around the world will come together for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They have had to overcome enormous obstacles to participate in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to show the same strength and solidarity in our efforts to bring peace to our world. The Olympic Truce is a traditional call to silence the guns while the Games proceed.”
“Seeking peace and uniting around common goals is even more important this year, as we strive to end the pandemic and build a strong sustainable and inclusive global recovery,” the UN Secretary-General said.
I call on all parties to conflict to observe the Olympic Truce during the #Tokyo2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) July 15, 2021
People and nations can build on this temporary respite to establish lasting ceasefires and find paths towards sustainable peace. pic.twitter.com/2n2eX0LsLT
A solemn appeal to the UN Member States for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was made by the President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, earlier this month, following the resolution adopted in December 2019.
Entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal”, the resolution was passed unanimously at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly and was co-sponsored by 186 out of 193 UN Member States, demonstrating the recognition by the UN’s international community of the power of sport and the relevance of the Olympic Games to bring the world together in peaceful competition, providing hope for a better future.
The Olympic Truce – a tradition for more than 3,000 years
The tradition of the Olympic Truce – “Ekecheiria” – has been to ensure a halt of all hostilities, allowing the safe passage and participation of athletes and spectators taking part in the Olympic Games. The resolution reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are as important across the world today as they were over 3,000 years ago, when the ancient Olympic Games first took place in Greece.
The main objectives pursued by the IOC through the Olympic Truce are to mobilise young people for the promotion of the Olympic ideal; to use sport to help build bridges between communities in conflict; and, more generally, to create a window of opportunity for dialogue and reconciliation.