- 06 Aug 2004
- Olympic News
Appeal for states to observe Olympic Truce
With less than 10 days to go before the start of the Olympic Games, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte, appealed on 4 August 2004 to all States to demonstrate their commitment to peace by observing the traditional truce during the quadrennial competition.
Truce for 16 days
“While conflicts in the world will not cease overnight, if we could have peace for 16 days, then maybe, just maybe, we could have it forever,” Hunte said in a statement. The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad are set to open on 13 August in Athens, where the first modern Games were held in 1896.
Cornerstone of Ancient Olympic Games
Hunte noted that the sacred Greek tradition of ekecheiria (truce) was the cornerstone of the Olympic Games in ancient times, providing safety and a peaceful environment for both athletes and spectators alike. “Its very adoption was dictated by the oracle of Delphi as a way to put an end to the wars that at the time devastated the Peloponnese. The longest-lasting peace accord in history was thus created,” he said.
Promote dialogue and understanding
“In times of violence and uncertainty, of war and struggle, when security becomes a pressing concern, we must always remember that defensive mechanisms need to be paralleled by resolute efforts to promote dialogue and understanding among peoples and governments, and to adhere to the ideas for which the Olympic Truce stands,” the General Assembly President said.
Learn more on Olympic Truce
Learn more on Athens 2004
Official website of Athens 2004