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UN's General Assembly adopts Olympic Truce
15 November 2017, 09:44 | Cameron Gross
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Lee Hee Beom, president of the South Korean organizing committee, said the resolution signifies the General Assembly's "strong wish that Pyeongchang will provide the window of opportunity to foster an environment conducive to building and sustaining peace on the Korean peninsula, and in northeast Asia".
The Greek Olympic Truce tradition dates back to the eighth century BC, and has since served as a sacred principle of the Olympic Games.
The United Nations General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution calling for the peaceful running of the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea's PyeongChang.
China and Russian Federation have pushed back against some demands the USA and Japan wrote into early drafts of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at halting Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons. "At the same time, we do know that this may be a very last-minute decision by North Korea", said South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan at an Olympics preview event in NY.
"I will make the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games a world-backed peace Olympic event with the adoption of the Olympic truce resolution", Lee said.
The resolution urges countries to give safe passage to all players, officers and officials participating in the Olympics to have safe access and allow them to participate at the Games, as well as mobiliising youth around the world for peace.
Lee said that PyeongChang is ready to "welcome the world" for the 2018 Olympics with all construction done and the Olympic Flame touring the country.
"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, in a speech ahead of the passing of the resolution.
"I hope that the Games will help lay the foundation for dialogue and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula which is going through political tension", said Do, adding that North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Games is likely to be "a last-minute decision".
The Pyeongchang Games will take place just 80km from South Korea's heavily fortified border with its estranged neighbour to the north.
The theme of the General Assembly this year was "Focusing on People".
In late September, North Korea secured qualification for its first athletes at the Pyeongchang Olympics when figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik finished in the top six in a qualifying event in Germany.
"Although North Korea hasn't given an official response yet, we are very hopeful that they will compete".
The PyeongChang Olympics are slated to run from February ninth to 25th and the Paralympics from March ninth to 18th of next year.
Concerns have risen in the region following a series of missile tests by North Korea in recent months. "In our fragile world, polarization and mistrust are growing".
"We will also convey the message that the Pyeongchang Olympic Games will be held safely and peacefully all over the world. They never erect walls".
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