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UN, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. With eight days remaining before the start of Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi, the president of the UN General Assembly called on members of the United Nations to uphold and observe the tradition of stopping hostilities during the Games.
“I solemnly appeal to all Member States to demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic Truce for the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games,” John Ashe, the president of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, said.
A resolution to observe the Olympic truce around the world during the 2014 Winter Games was initiated by Russia and Greece and adopted by 193-member UN General Assembly in November of 2013.
“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 tradition of the Olympic Truce goes back to 8th century BC in ancient Greece, when all athletes and relevant persons were guaranteed safe arrival, access and participation during the Games. The International Olympic Committee officially revived the tradition in 1992 and the following year the UN General Assembly supported the move.
Ashe called on the UN General Assembly member-governments “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.”
The symbolic Olympic Truce starts one week prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, held in Russia’s Blas Sea resort city of Sochi between February 7 and 23, and lasts until one week after the end of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, running between March 7 and 16.