Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an Olympic truce and urging all warring parties to lay down their weapons and put aside difference during the upcoming summer games in Rio de Janeiro.
The UN chief said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday that the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations work closely together “for global harmony and peace.”
“I congratulate all the athletes and all the supporters and fans who will be filling the sporting arenas of Rio in the weeks ahead,” Ban said. “The Olympics and Paralympics celebrate the best of humanity.”
The Olympic Truce is a practice emanating from Ancient Greece where warring factions were required to lay down their weapons for the three-month period of the Games so that spectators and participants could travel safely.The 193-member U.N. General Assembly has passed resolutions since 1993 calling for an Olympic truce.
In 1996, the Athens Bid Committee committed to reviving the Olympic Truce and promoting it to the world through the Olympic Flame Relay. Even then, wars continue to be fought during, before and after the games. For example the 2008 South Ossetian war between Russia and Georgia started just prior to the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing China.