UN General Assembly head urges peace during Beijing Olympics
The president of the General Assembly appealed to the UN's 193 member nations on Thursday to take "concrete actions" to promote peace during next month's Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Abdulla Shahid also called on all warring parties in conflicts around the world "to boldly agree to true mutual cease-fires" during the Olympic truce called for by the General Assembly.
The assembly took note of Shahid's "solemn appeal" with a bang of his gavel.
On Dec. 2, the assembly adopted a resolution by consensus recalling the ancient Greek tradition of ekecheiria, calling for an "Olympic Truce," to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage and participation of athletes in the games, "thereby mobilizing the youth of the world to the cause of peace."
The resolution urged member state "to observe the Olympic Truce, individually and collectively" from the week before the start of the 24th winter Olympic games in Beijing until the week after the Paralympics. The Olympics run from Feb. 4-20 followed by the Paralympics from March 4-13.
Shahid's appeal urges all countries "to undertake concrete actions at the local, national, regional and world levels to promote and strengthen a culture of peace and harmony based on the spirit of the Olympic Truce."
It says the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee have strengthened their cooperation and support and the IOC has decided to fly the UN flag in the Olympic stadium and the Olympic villages as an expression of the two organizations' common goals -- "to promote peace, mutual understanding and goodwill among nations and peoples.".
The IOC welcomed Shahid's appeal and called it "another demonstration of the support for the political neutrality of the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee."