UN calls for a symbolic Olympic Truce ahead of Games

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Wilfried Lemke

The General Assembly has adopted a  resolution calling on countries to observe a global cease-fire before, during and after the 2014 Olympic Games.

The Olympic Truce would start in February, one week before the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, and run a week after the closing of the 11th Paralympic Winter Games, in March.

The resolution has itself become a tradition at the UN, being passed every two years preceding the holding of the Winter and Summer Games respectively.

Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, urged Member States to enforce the symbolic Truce as in the ancient Greek tradition.

"Let's try to convince more and more people really to lay their arms down for the time period as the ancient Greek did it, seven days before, seven days after. And if this could save just one life, it would be a wonderful resolution and not only a paper."

The ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce was born in the 8th 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."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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