United Nations adopts truce resolution for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (L) receives an Olympic torch from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during a statement to the press ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Photo by Florian Choblet-Pool/Getty Images)

The UN General Assembly has adopted a ‘truce resolution’ ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games in a gesture aimed at using the Olympics to promote world peace.

The resolution, introduced by Japan, was adopted unanimously, without a vote. Similar resolutions have been passed in advance of Olympic Games since 1993, ahead of the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, when the International Olympic Committee and the UN revived the ancient Greek tradition of ekecheiria, or ‘Olympic Truce’. This calls for “all hostilities to cease during the Games, thereby mobilising the youth of the world in the cause of peace”.

The latest resolution references the massive support Japan received from the international community after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. It also notes that the recent sequence of Olympic Games in Asia, from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, is a symbol of strengthening relations between the three host countries.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said: “This resolution is a powerful reminder of the shared values on which both the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee are built.

“With the adoption of the Olympic truce resolution today, you are supporting the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as this true symbol of peace in our world.”

Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori noted the main theme for the upcoming Games is “unity and diversity”, and said: “What is marvellous about sport is the ability to help people overcome difficult challenges.”

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place from July 24 to August 9, followed by the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6.