In his message, Ban Ki-moon recalled that “today, sports and events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games break down barriers by bringing together people from all around the world and all walks of life. The participants may carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality and fair play, understanding and mutual respect.”
For his part, the UN General Assembly President noted that “The Olympic Movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport. 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.”
About the Olympic Truce
The Olympic Truce, which dates back to the 9th century BC, supports the idea that throughout the Olympic Games, individuals, not countries, compete against each other in peaceful sport without the burden of politics, religion or racism.
In 1992, the International Olympic Committee introduced the concept of the Olympic Truce to the modern Olympic Games, and in 1993 the United Nations General Assembly urged its member states to observe the Olympic Truce. Sebastian Coe, on behalf of the UK government, presented the Olympic Truce Resolution for the 2012 Games, which for the first time received the unanimous support of all 193 UN Member States. Through this document, the UN invites its Member States to observe and promote peace before, during and after the Games in order to serve as a window for dialogue and to protect the interests of athletes and sport in general.