Ban calls on people to adopt Olympic spirit

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon participates in Olympic torch relay ahead of Sochi Games. UN Photo

The UN Secretary-General has called on people to take the Olympic spirit of fair play, mutual respect and spread it around the world.

Ban Ki-moon made the remarks in a video-message aired at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia.

The UN Chief attended the event along with President Vladimir Putin and the President of the International Olympic Committee (OIC).

"The Olympics and Paralympics bring out the best in athletic achievements. The Olympic flame also illuminates hope for our common humanity. Even in the cold winter weather, barriers between people melt away. The Olympic spirit prevails: fair play, mutual respect, friendly competition. Let us take that spirit and spread around for world – for peace and a truce between all warring parties around the world; for human rights and an end to discrimination; and for a life of dignity for all."

The Secretary-General also had separate meetings with the Presidents of Ukraine and China.

Protests have been taking place in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev since November against the government’s perceived rejection of integration with the European Union.

Jocelyne Sambira.

Duration: 1’18″

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