UN appeal to observe Olympic Truce during Tokyo 2020

United Nations Olympic flags combo

NEW YORK: The president of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, Thursday made a solemn appeal to the UN Member States for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, following the resolution adopted in December 2019. 

The resolution calls for the Olympic Truce to be respected from 16 July to 12 September - seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the Paralympic Games.

“The Olympic Movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport, in particular youth,” said Bozkir in the appeal. “The Games will bring together athletes from all parts of the world in the greatest of international sports events as a means to promote peace, mutual understanding and goodwill among nations and peoples — goals that are also part of the founding values of the United Nations. For the second time, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team will participate under the Olympic flag in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, acting as a powerful symbol of inclusion and our shared humanity.”

Complete text of the appeal:
“The Olympic Games are the only event today that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “This is why we are so grateful to the UN Member States for their support of the Olympic Truce resolution. With this resolution, they are supporting the values and principles that unite us. In this Olympic spirit of universality, solidarity and peace, I invite you all to join hands and to celebrate our unity in all our diversity at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and beyond. Let us demonstrate together that our shared humanity is stronger than all the forces that want to divide us.”

Entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal”, the resolution was passed unanimously at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly and was co-sponsored by 186 out of 193 UN Member States, demonstrating the recognition by the UN’s international community of the power of sport and the relevance of the Olympic Games to bring the world together in peaceful competition, providing hope for a better future.

The Olympic Truce – a tradition for more than 3,000 years

The tradition of the Olympic Truce – “Ekecheira” – has been to ensure a halt of all hostilities, allowing the safe passage and participation of athletes and spectators taking part in the Olympic Games. The resolution reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are as important across the world today as they were over 3,000 years ago, when the ancient Olympic Games first took place in Greece.

The main objectives pursued by the IOC through the Olympic Truce are to mobilise young people for the promotion of the Olympic ideal; to use sport to help build bridges between communities in conflict; and, more generally, to create a window of opportunity for dialogue and reconciliation.

The Olympic Truce resolution for Tokyo 2020 was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in December 2019.

The resolution for PyeongChang 2018, adopted by the UN General Assembly in November 2017, is available here.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are due to start on 23 July.