POSTED: November 6th 2013
NewsUpdate

UN Assembly unanimously supports the Olympic Truce for Sochi 2014 Winter Games

IOC President Thomas Bach addresses the UN for the first time as chief of the Olympic Movement / IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach addresses the UN for the first time as chief of the Olympic Movement / IOC

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Thomas Bach, the recently elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, has developed a vision of how politics and sport should work together, building a more peaceful world. He spoke at the 68th Session the United Nations Wednesday, as a resolution was accepted that urged all member states to take part in the Olympic Truce during the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games, beginning next February.

President Bach, while at a speaking event in New York, stressed the important role that sport can play in the service of society, promoting fair playing, supporting health and education, along with tolerance and understanding.

President Bach stated, “Regardless of where in the world we practice sport, the rules are the same. They are recognized worldwide. They are based on a common ‘global ethic’ of fair play, tolerance and friendship.”

He continued by saying that the world of sport understood that this autonomy must be practiced “responsibly,” and that sport would never “operate in a law-free environment”. Sport organizations should “justify” their autonomy including indicating good governance. President Bach stated that the IOC has established a sound example by demanding that the Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic Movement be honored at the minimum standard.

The IOC President emphasized that the sport movement has to remain politically neutral, but require being “apolitical”. Bach stated, “Sport must include political considerations in its decisions. It must consider the political, economic and social implications of its decisions.”

Bach put the audience members in charge of taking back a message for their respective countries, “In the mutual interest of both sport and politics, please help to protect and strengthen the autonomy of sport.”

 “The Olympic Games, the Olympic athletes and in particular, the Olympic Village are a powerful symbol of this,” he continued, “They break down the barriers of cultural differences. They serve as an example of mutual respect and non-discrimination.”

President Bach commented on how the IOC and the United Nations share common principals, but that the autonomy can only be effective if sport is respected and boycotts are resisted.

“Precisely because many of our principles are the same, it must always be clear in the relationship between sport and politics that the role of sport is always to build bridges. It is never to build walls. Sports stand for dialogue and understanding,” he stated, “which transcend all differences. Sport and the Olympic Movement especially understand the global diversity of cultures, societies and life designs as a source of richness. We never accuse or exclude anyone.”

“Sport of Peace and Development: Building a Peaceful and Better World through Sport and the Olympic Ideal,” was the resolution and was submitted to the General Assembly on behalf of the Olympic Movement along with the Russian Federation by Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and CEO of the 2014 Sochi Organizing Committee.

In closing, Bach stated, “Together with the political authorities, the IOC wishes to set an example for peace and solidarity in the quest for a more humane society,” he added, “Our partnership clearly illustrates that ‘Olympic principles are United Nations principles’.”


Keywords · IOC · Thomas Bach · UN · Olympic Games · Peace · Sochi 2014 · Sport


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