With 10 months remaining until the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 62nd Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York City has 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 182 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 Organizing 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
International Olympic Committee - http://www.olympic.org/