UN adopts Olympic Truce for PyeongChang Winter Olympics
The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution asking all countries to observe a truce during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
Published : Nov 14, 2017 - 09:37
Updated : Nov 14, 2017 - 11:31
The resolution, also known as the "Olympic Truce," is adopted every two years ahead of the Summer and Winter Olympic games to declare a truce and safe passage for all participants during the athletic events.
The PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are slated to run next year from Feb. 9-25 and March 9-18, respectively, against the backdrop of heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
In the resolution, titled "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal," the General Assembly expresses "its expectation that PyeongChang 2018 will be a meaningful opportunity to foster an atmosphere of peace, development, tolerance and understanding on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia."
In this photo captured from official UN footage, former South Korean figure skating champion Kim Yu-na addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Nov. 13, 2017. (Yonhap)
It also "urges member states to observe the Olympic Truce individually and collectively, within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations," throughout the period running from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games.
In a speech before the assembly, Kim Yu-na, a former South Korean figure skating champion and honorary ambassador to the PyeongChang games, touted the Olympic spirit.
"The Olympic Charter states the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity," she said. "I strongly believe this is the spirit of the Olympic Games and it represents the potential and the power of sport."
Kim said she experienced "the same spirit and power" as a 10-year-old watching the South Korean and North Korean delegations jointly enter the arena at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
The PyeongChang games will be the first of three consecutive Olympic games to be held in Asia, the resolution notes, "offering possibilities of new partnership in sport and beyond for Republic of Korea, Japan and China."
Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, while Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
"In less than 90 days from now, the entire world will enjoy the most spectacular Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang on the Korean Peninsula," Lee Hee-beom, chief of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee, told the assembly. "The Republic of Korea is ready to welcome the world."
Following the adoption of the resolution, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach spoke of the "special significance" the resolution will carry for the athletes in PyeongChang.
"With the Olympic Truce resolution, the United Nation General Assembly is creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace," Bach said in a statement released by the IOC. "Only the UN member states can guarantee the athletes a safe passage to the Olympic Games. They make it possible for all the Olympic athletes to realize their dream of a lifetime. The Olympic athletes show the whole world that it is possible to compete with each other while living peacefully together under one roof at the same time."
South Korea's foreign ministry welcomed the adoption of the truce resolution, vowing efforts to make the PyeongChang games a success.
Seoul's unification ministry called on North Korea to take part in the Olympics.
"We hope that the North will decide on its participation as soon as possible and the two Koreas could frankly discuss a range of issues to make the games a Peace Olympics," the ministry said. (Yonhap)
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