United Nations urges countries to stop conflicts during winter Olympics

United Nations urges countries to stop conflicts during winter Olympics

In his remarks, the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák said: “The Olympic Games and the United Nations aspire to the same ideal. Reflecting the special circumstances of the Korean Peninsula - namely, continuing concerns about a military clash - the Olympic Truce resolution calls for "safe passage, access and participation for athletes and relevant persons at the Games". The resolution also signifies the UN Assembly's, UN General Assembly strong wish that the PyeongChang Games will provide the window of opportunity to foster an environment conducive to building and sustaining peace on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday in a statement "welcomed" the United Nations resolution and added that "the expression of the expectation that it will help promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia reflects the Korean government's commitment to make the PyeongChang event an 'Olympic of Peace'".

The resolution notes "that Pyeongchang 2018 marks the first of three consecutive Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Asia, to be followed by Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, offering possibilities of new partnership in sport and beyond for Republic of Korea, Japan and China".

"Sydney 2000 was another example, as with the support of the IOC, athletes from both Koreas entered the Olympic stadium under the same flag". "I strongly believe this is the spirit of the Olympic Games, and it represents the potential and the power of sport". "In terms of other sports, we are aware that there are North Korean athletes training for cross country (skiing) as well as other ice skating categories", Do said. Attention is turning to South Korean President Moon Jae-in's plan to take the truce as an opportunity to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and engineer a turning point in the North Korean nuclear crisis.

"Taking this opportunity, I would like to assure you, once again, that the organising committee and the Korean Government are committed to a safe and peaceful Olympic Games".

"We hope our joint action today will lead to a chain reaction for the promotion of peace within the region and beyond", Lee added. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million USA dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world. The main thrust of the resolution is the proposal to temporarily halt conflicts all over the world during the Pyeongchang Olympic Games (Feb. 9-25, 2018) and the Paralympic Winter Games (Mar. 9-18, 2018), with the truce starting seven days before the opening ceremony and ending seven days after the closing ceremony.

The resolution recalls the ancient Greek tradition of "ekecheiria", which called for a cessation of hostilities to encourage a peaceful environment, ensure safe passage and participation of athletes in the ancient Olympics. With the Olympic Truce resolution, the United Nation General Assembly is creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace.

It was updated by the International Olympic Committee in 1992, before they set up the international organisation Olympic Truce in 2000 to honour the tradition.

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