2012 was a momentous year for London and the Olympic Truce was an historic opportunity for the UK to promote peace and stability around the world. Sport has the power to bring people together from different countries, cultures and backgrounds without prejudice or discrimination, whether at a global level through the Olympic and Paralympic Games or at a local level through activities within schools and communities.
The UN Resolution on the Olympic Truce strongly encourages different communities and groups to celebrate common interest through sport, culture, education or academic participation. The UK brought the Olympic Truce ideals to life in the run up to, and during, London 2012 through a global programme of over 80 Olympic Truce activities, with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the UN Office on Sport for Development (UNOSDP). This was recognized by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who commended the UK’s significant achievements on the opening day of London 2012. London 2012 was a true “Legacy Games”, and today’s Legacy Forum provided a platform to discuss this unique aspect of the Games with the future host nations.
Speaking at the Forum, FCO Minister for Conflict Issues, Mark Simmonds, said:
Through our global network, working alongside other government departments and civil society, we delivered a series of activities to illustrate how a shared love of sport and culture can help overcome differences and promote conflict prevention and peace. We brought together rival gangs in the Caribbean, former adversaries in the Balkans, neighbours in Sudan and South Sudan, young people in Pakistan, and parties engaged in a peace process in the Philippines to support the peace ideals of the Olympic Truce. We thank the IOC and the UNOSDP for all their support. We now look to Russia, Brazil and South Korea to follow on with their own international Olympic Truce programmes and we were delighted that they participated in today’s forum.
Tommy Sithole, IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development said at the Forum:
The Olympic Truce Resolution for the 2012 Games received the unanimous support of all 193 UN Member States. This shows the power of sport and the Olympic Games to bring people together in a celebration of what unites us, not what divides us. We’d like to thank the FCO, UNOSDP, and the London 2012 Organising Committee for all of their work on the 2012 Truce Resolution and for hosting this meeting, which will help to progress the work of the Olympic Movement through the Truce initiative.
Wilfried Lemke, UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, said:
The power of sport is an important resource that we can harness with the aim of promoting peace and stability at a global level. The Olympic Truce provides the opportunity for conflict zones to set aside their differences and come together under the same peaceful terms. As in 2011 in the lead up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, it is my hope that this year in the lead up to the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, all United Nation Member States will co-sponsor and jointly adopt the Olympic Truce Resolution in the UN General Assembly. The level of unanimity in the adoption of the Olympic Truce Resolution for the London Games highlighted the importance and potential of the Olympic Truce and demonstrated the belief that, although it cannot create peace by itself, sport is a social and cultural phenomenon that can contribute to promote peace and positive social changes. The UK established a best practice for the practical application of the Olympic Truce and I encourage future Olympic hosts to follow suit.
Today’s Legacy Forum looked to the future of the Olympic Truce. This unique concept is an important aspect of the hosting of an Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is our hope that the UK’s experiences will inspire future Host Nations of both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games to keep the Olympic Truce flame alive around the world.
Read more about the Olympic Truce concept
Visit the website of the International Truce Centre
More information about the IOC’s initiatives for Peace trough Sport