United Nations adopts Olympic Truce for PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Image courtesy of Pixabay user michaelwedermann

The resolution, "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal", was adopted by consensus without voting on Monday at the 72nd General Assembly.

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 mobilising youth around the world for peace.

The adoption of the Olympic Truce is being mentioned as a potential reason for adjusting the schedule or the scale of South Korea and the US's Foal Eagle and Key Resolve joint military drills, which are held in February and March of every year. 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".

Last Saturday, Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan left for NY to attend the meeting, with a 10-strong South Korean delegation that includes Lee Hee-beom, chief of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) and Kim Yu-na, a figure skating champion and Honorary Ambassador for the games.

"We welcome the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games at any time in anticipation of North Korea's response to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the peaceful development of Northeast Asia and the world". "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.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the pairs competition last month, however.

"Today, I hope to witness this power again", she continued.

International Olympic Committee officials and South Korea have sought to ensure North Korea's participation at Pyeongchang 2018. Then as now, the Olympic Games are a symbol of hope and peace.

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".

A record 94 countries have expressed interest in sending athletes to next year's Winter Olympics, although North Korea have yet to indicate whether they will attend the Games.

The South Korean delegation to NY included Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-hwan, Ambassador to the United Nations Cho Tae-yul and Ambassador for Public Diplomacy Park Enna, who engaged in events promoting the PyeongChang Olympics. "The Republic of Korea is ready to welcome the world". 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.

The Ministry of Unification said on the adoption of the resolution, "We look forward to North Korea being receptive in creating a path to peace on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the worldwide community".

The 17-day sporting event is to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, about an hour from the demilitarized zone.

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