UN Passes 2018 Olympic Truce

Katie Ormerod claimed the silver medal at the snowboard big air World Cup in Milan on Saturday

The U.N. General Assembly on Monday endorsed a resolution calling on nations of the world to uphold an Olympic Truce for the time of next year's Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, and foster peace and tolerance on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. The official title of the Olympic Truce that was passed during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in NY on the morning of November 13 was "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal".

The resolution, adopted with a bang of the gavel by Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak to loud applause, urges United Nations member states to observe the truce from seven days before the games begin on February 9 until seven days after the Paralympic Winter Games end on March 18.

The truce comes at a tense time after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in September - its most powerful to date -and has carried out a spate of tests of ballistic missiles, some of which have flown over Japan, this year.

"Indeed, Pyeongchang represents perhaps the most honest efforts to cross frozen borders between South and North Korea and foster a peaceful environment", she said. This resolution, which Moon submitted during a meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in September, was largely drafted by the South Korean government and was co-sponsored by more than 140 countries, including the US, China, Japan and Russian Federation. It followed two hours of discussions between the Member States.

The resolution, drafted by the Korean government, also includes how the PyeongChang Olympics will serve as a golden opportunity for promoting peace in Northeast Asia as the first among the three major sports events in the coming years in the region. Reflecting the special circumstances of the Korean Peninsula - namely, continuing concerns about a military clash - the Olympic Truce resolution calls for "safe passage, access and participation for athletes and relevant persons at the Games". Speaking in support of the truce's adoption was former South Korean figure skater and gold medalist Kim Yu-na.

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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.

In his remarks, the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajcak, said: "The Olympic Games and the United Nations aspire to the same ideal". "Indeed PyeongChang represents the most honest efforts to cross borders between south and north and foster a peaceful environment".

"The Olympic Truce is about the promotion of peace through sport".

Backed by a Government delegation, including Minister of Culture Do Jong-whan, South Korean officials sought to reassure the United Nations of their commitment to ensuring the safety to the Games.

"Taking this opportunity, I would like to assure you, once again, that the organising committee and the Korean Government are committed to a safe and peaceful Olympic Games". But other factors are the possibility of North Korea carrying out an additional provocation before the Olympics and the state of North Korea-US relations. It simply said "Korea".

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