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United Nations adopts Olympic Truce for PyeongChang Winter Olympics

15 November 2017

The General Assembly revived the tradition in 1993 and has adopted resolutions before all Olympics since then, but member states involved in conflicts have often ignored the call for a truce.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted an Olympic Truce resolution ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games on Monday in NY, calling for the games to be an opportunity to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Republic of Korea Olympic gold medallist and Honorary Ambassador for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 Yuna Kim also addressed the General Assembly and said: “I firmly believe the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will help spread the message of peace through one of the few languages that has the power to unite people around the world: the graceful and universal language of sport.”.

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The Olympic Truce, which traces back to the Ekecheiria (a truce held during the Olympics in ancient Greece), has been an Olympic tradition since it passed the UN General Assembly in October 1993 and took force during the Lillehammer Winter Olympics the next year. "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. "The Olympic Games demonstrate that our values of a shared humanity are stronger than all the forces that want to divide us". With inter-Korean relations at a high point that summer, the North and South Korean Olympic delegations made a joint entrance to Stadium Australia.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have cast a shadow over the upcoming Winter Olympics, especially with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading barbs in recent months.

"Today, I hope to witness this power again", she continued. "Indeed Pyeongchang represents perhaps the most honest effort to cross the frozen border between South and North and to foster a peaceful environment". Only the UN Member States can guarantee the athletes a safe passage to the Olympic Games.

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PyeongChang 2018 marks the first of three consecutive Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Asia, and will be followed by Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. In the evening Monday, he will attend an official reception "PyeongChang Night" hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told the 193-member world body that with the resolution the General Assembly is "creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace".

The South Korean delegation to NY included Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-hwan, Ambassador to the United Nations Cho Tae-yul and Ambassador for Public Diplomacy Park Enna, who engaged in events promoting the PyeongChang Olympics. This resolution does not have the legal force of a UN Security Council resolution, but by adopting the resolution, the UN is urging all member states to suspend hostilities from February 2 to March 25.

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"We're incredibly excited about the Leyard technology we will be using for our coverage of the PyeongChang Games", said Michael Sheehan, coordinating director of NBC Olympics, in the announcement.

United Nations adopts Olympic Truce for PyeongChang Winter Olympics