UN calls for truce around next year’s Tokyo summer Olympics

The U.N. General Assembly has unanimously approved a resolution urging all nations to observe a truce during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution Monday urging all nations to observe a truce during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, saying sports can play a role in promoting peace and tolerance and preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

Diplomats burst into applause as the assembly president announced the adoption of the resolution by the 193-member world body.

The resolution recalls the ancient Greek tradition of “ekecheiria,” which called for a cessation of hostilities to encourage a peaceful environment, ensure safe passage and participation of athletes in the ancient Olympics.

The General Assembly revived the tradition in 1993 and has adopted resolutions before all Olympics since then calling for a cessation of hostilities for seven days before and after the games. But member states involved in conflicts have often ignored the call for a truce.

Yoshiro Mori, head of the Tokyo organizing committee for the 2020 games, introduced the resolution calling on U.N. members states to observe the truce around next year’s Summer Olympics, being held July 24-Aug. 9, and the Paralympics, following on Aug. 25-Sept. 6.

The resolution also urges nations to help “use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond” the games.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told the General Assembly that as the United Nations approaches its 75th anniversary next year, an Olympic year, there is no better time to celebrate the shared values of both organizations to promote peace among all countries and people of the world.

But he warned that “in sport, we can see an increasing erosion of the respect for the global rule of law.”

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