IN a strong sign of confidence of the Member States of the United Nations in the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the UN General Assembly today adopted the resolution “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal” by consensus. It followed two hours of discussions between the Member States.
The consensus for the Olympic Truce resolution included both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea as well as the future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States of America.
The resolution calls on the nations of the world to uphold the Olympic Truce for the time of the Olympic Winter Games. The first operative clause of the resolution specifically asks Member States “to ensure the safe passage, access and participation of athletes, officials and all other accredited persons taking part in the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games”. This specific call is especially important, given the time and place of these Olympic Winter Games.
Following the adoption of the resolution, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “For the athletes who will gather in PyeongChang for the Olympic Winter Games, this resolution will carry a special significance, a deeply personal one. With the Olympic Truce resolution, the United Nation General Assembly is creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace. Only the UN Member States can guarantee the athletes a safe passage to the Olympic Games. They make it possible for all the Olympic athletes to realise their dream of a lifetime.”
He continued: “The Olympic athletes show the whole world that it is possible to compete with each other while living peacefully together under one roof at the same time.”
In his remarks, the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák said: “The Olympic Games and the United Nations aspire to the same ideal. This is an ideal based on humanity. It says that, no matter what is going on in state capitals around the world, people will always have a space in which to engage and connect. ”
The resolution calls for the Olympic Truce to be respected from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games in February 2018 until seven days after the Paralympic Games, and to use this opportunity to harness sport to foster and encourage concrete action that promotes dialogue and reconciliation during the Games and beyond. By adopting this resolution, the international community at the United Nations recognises 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 resolution was formally submitted to the General Assembly by the Republic of Korea, on behalf of the Olympic Movement and the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 (POCOG). Lee Hee-beom, President of POCOG, introduced it to the General Assembly.
Republic of Korea Olympic gold medallist and Honorary Ambassador for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 Yuna Kim also addressed the General Assembly and said: “I firmly believe the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will help spread the message of peace through one of the few languages that has the power to unite people around the world: the graceful and universal language of sport.”
The tradition of the Olympic Truce 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. Then as now, the Olympic Games are a symbol of hope and peace. 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 Olympic Winter Games 2018 will take place in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, from 9 to 25 February 2018 and will be followed by the Paralympic Games from 8 to 18 March 2018.