UNITED NATIONS, January 30, (ITAR-TASS). UN General Assembly President John Ashe has called on United Nations member states to observe the tradition of the Olympic truce ahead of the Winter Olympic Games Russia will host next month in its Black Sea resort of Sochi, the UN reported on its website.
“As President of the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Ashe said while reading his Solemn Appeal at the UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
He also urged the UN members “to undertake concrete actions at the local, national, regional and world levels to promote and strengthen a culture of peace and harmony based on the spirit of the Truce.”
“Referring to the original tradition of the Olympic Truce practiced in ancient times, as described in resolution 68/9, I also call upon all warring parties of current armed conflicts around the world to boldly agree to true mutual ceasefires for the duration of the Olympic Truce, thus providing an opportunity to settle disputes peacefully,” Ashe said.
The symbolic Truce will start one week prior to the XXII Olympic Winter Games, to be held on February 7-23 in Sochi, and will be effective until a week after the end of the XI Paralympic Winter Games, due on March 7-16, the UN reported.
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to support the Olympic Truce for the Sochi Olympics in November 2013, on an initiative from Russia and Greece.
According to the UN, the ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce, or the ekecheiria, was born in Greece in the eighth century BC “to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage, access and participation for athletes and relevant persons at the Games, thereby mobilizing the youth of the world to the cause of peace.”
In 1992, the tradition was renewed by the International Olympic Committee and supported by a UN General Assembly resolution a year after.
An Itar-Tass correspondent was told in Russia’s permanent mission to the UN earlier that a live broadcast of the competitions will be organized at the UN headquarters.