United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on July 16, 2021, called on all parties to conflict to observe the Olympic Truce while the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are held in Tokyo, Japan.
After overcoming enormous obstacles amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “Athletes from around the world will come together in Japan for the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Guterres through a video message. “People and nations can build on this respite to establish lasting ceasefires and find paths towards sustainable peace,” he added.
Earlier on July 7, 2021, following the resolution adopted in December 2019, Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly made a Solemn Appeal to the Member States to observe the Olympic Truce while the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games proceed.
I call on all parties to conflict to observe the Olympic Truce during the #Tokyo2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
People and nations can build on this temporary respite to establish lasting ceasefires and find paths towards sustainable peace. pic.twitter.com/2n2eX0LsLT
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres)
July 15, 2021
Tokyo 2020: Olympic Truce – Key highlights
• As a traditional call to silence the guns while the Games proceed, the Olympic Truce will come into effect seven days before the onset of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and will stay in force till September 12, 2021, seven days after the end of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
• The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held from July 23, 2021, to August 8, 2021, and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from August 24, 2021, to September 5, 2021.
What is Olympic Truce?
• The ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheiria, also known as ‘Olympic Truce’ came into being in the eighth century B.C.
• In 1992, the tradition to observe Olympic Truce was renewed by the International Olympic Committee. Later in 1993, the General Assembly through its resolution directed all Member States to observe the Olympic Truce seven days before the onset of the Games and seven days following the end of the Games.
• In 1994, the then President of the UN General Assembly made a Solemn Appeal for the observance of the Olympic Truce during the Games. Since then, the Solemn Appeal has been made every two years, before the beginning of the Olympics and Paralympics.
• In 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and re-affirmed Olympic Games as an enabler of sustainable development.
• In December 2019, the Olympic Truce resolution titled ‘Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal’ for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games was passed unanimously and co-sponsored by 186 out of 193 UN Member States at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Olympic Truce: Significance
• The Olympic Truce or ekecheiria dates to the eighth century B.C. ancient Greek tradition that began seven days before the onset of the Games and seven days following the end of the Games.
• The ancient Greek tradition of Truce during the Olympics was to offer safety and a peaceful environment for the athletes and spectators. The adoption of the Truce was defined by the oracle of Delphi to end the wars.
• To Present, the Olympic Truce epitomizes mankind’s expression for a world based on fair rules of competition, humanity, peace reconciliation, and the UN’s key purpose of maintaining international peace and security.