BEIJING 2008 – OLYMPIC TRUCE RESOLUTION WINS SUPPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
With 10 months remaining until the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 62nd Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York City today adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution. Entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal,” the Resolution was introduced by China on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was sponsored by the 187 Member States of the Assembly.
Presenting the Resolution to the UN has in recent years been a way of inviting its Member States to observe and promote peace during and beyond each Olympic Games. It underscores the importance of making a contribution through sport to find peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the world's conflicts.
”Today’s endorsement reflects the universality shared by the United Nations and the Olympic Movement. The presence of the UN as a force for good is felt in more countries than ever before. So it is with the Olympic Movement,” said Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, in a speech delivered to the General Assembly after a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon this morning.
In his speech, President Rogge added, “Today, athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees compete in the Olympic Games. And today the IOC provides more assistance to developing countries than ever before, often in collaboration with many UN agencies and other international partners. That is why I hope the widespread support for this resolution speaks not only for its symbolic value, but also for its practical potential. Sport alone cannot enforce or maintain peace. But it has a vital role to play in building a better and more peaceful world.”
Rogge continued, “In China, the Beijing 2008 Summer Games have already delivered important social, legislative and economic benefits. It is better to open a new door to China than to leave it closed at this point in its modern evolution. In a world where values can change with circumstances, ours do not. Fair play and good sportsmanship show our respect for sport in its purest, cleanest form. In a world where commitment to social responsibility wavers, it has always mattered to the IOC. In a world too often torn apart by war, environmental degradation, poverty and disease, we see sport as a calling to serve humanity. That is why this resolution is so important.“
Liu Qi, the President of the Organising Committee for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) said at the Assembly, “Beijing 2008 is heartened by the overwhelming support and endorsement given to the Olympic Truce by the international community at the United Nations. Their solidarity reinforces the global desire for peace and a cessation of all acts of hostilities during the Olympic period.”
Guided by the principles of the Olympic Movement, including education, sustainability, non-discrimination, universality, humanism and solidarity, the IOC and UN have created an impressive record of collaboration. The two organisations have worked together to find solutions to a wide range of social, economic and environmental problems, including:
- Running an important prevention campaign against HIV in collaboration with UNAIDS;
- Launching a pilot project in Zambia to train and educate young people through sport;
- Providing grassroots-level support including sports equipment and recreational activities to tens of thousands of people in impoverished and rural areas in many countries;
- Donating sports and casual clothing to refugees and internally displaced people;
- Supporting victims of disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and the Indonesian tsunami in collaboration with the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement;
- Working with UNEP to reduce the environmental impact of the Olympic Games.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
About the Olympic Truce
The Olympic Truce or "Ekecheria’ was born in the 9th century B.C. in Ancient Greece. It called for warring parties to lay down their arms while athletes competed under the flame of the Olympic torch.
The first Truce initiatives were launched by the IOC in 1992. Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly expressed its support for the IOC by unanimously adopting, before each edition of the Games, a Resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal.”
About the International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), created in 1894, is a non-governmental organisation with volunteer members who represent its work around the world, and an administrative staff based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC and its 205 National Olympic Committees worldwide promote the Olympic Movement, whose vision is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport. In addition to selecting the host city and coordinating the staging of the Olympic Games, the IOC and NOCs collaborate with a range of organisations and their members in the public and private sectors to place sport at the service of society. The main goal is to promote the values of Olympism, which include excellence, respect and friendship.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.