- 09 Feb 2006
- Olympic News
UN appeal for the Olympic Truce
The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the President of the UN General Assembly, Jan Eliasson, have called on all UN Member States to observe the Olympic Truce during the period of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin.
The same ideals
In his message, Kofi Annan recalled that “the Olympic Movement and the United Nations share fundamental ideals: tolerance and understanding; equal opportunities and fair play; and, most of all, peace. In a world growing ever closer and more interconnected, and yet still riven by brutal conflict, dire poverty and cruel injustice, it is more important than ever that we all join forces to give life to those ideals.”
A window of time to open a dialogue
“One way we can do that is to observe the Olympic Truce - the call for warring parties to lay down their arms while athletes from the community of nations meet under the noble flame of the Olympic torch”, the UN Secretary General added, pointing out that “While limited in duration and scope, the Olympic Truce can offer a neutral point of consensus, a window of time to open a dialogue, a pause to provide relief to a suffering population. Over the years, a great deal of support has been voiced worldwide for the concept of the Truce. The challenge before us is to ensure that it has as many practitioners as it has supporters on paper.”
Educational value of sport
For his part, the President of the 60th Session of the General Assembly and member of the Board of the International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF), Jan Eliasson, noted that “the Olympic Movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for humankind through the educational value of sport. It brings together athletes of the world in the greatest of international sports events, the Olympic Games, and it aims to promote the maintenance of peace, mutual understanding and goodwill – goals it shares with the United Nations.”
Respecting the TruceJan Eliasson concluded his message by solemnly appealing to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce and to take appropriate measures to ensure a global peaceful environment for these Olympic Winter Games.