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the Olympic truce voted by the UN General Assembly

Member States called on all countries on Tuesday to respect a period of peace during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial



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Tony Estanguet before the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday November 21, 2023. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Tuesday, November 21, calling on all countries in the world to respect the traditional “Olympic truce” during the Paris Games next summer. A peace resolution adopted by 118 votes in favor, none against, and two abstentions (Russia and Syria). Russia immediately criticized it, denouncing “political interference” in the sport.

“I don’t remember a world facing so much confrontation, division, polarization“, commented the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, at the UN podium, before calling for “bring together, even in times of war and crisis”. Tony Estanguet, the head of the Paris Games Organizing Committee, who presented the draft resolution on behalf of France, recalled that “the Games have an extremely inspiring value as an example because they show what we have in common rather than what divides us.”

Inspired by the ancient Greek tradition of “ekecheiria” which required the cessation of all hostility during the ancient Olympic Games, this truce was reintroduced by the UN in 1993, at the initiative of the IOC. It calls on member states to observe a period of peace from the seventh day before the start of the Paris Olympics (July 26 to August 11, 2024) and until the seventh day after the end of the Paralympic Games (August 28 to September 8). . Until now, it had always been adopted without a vote, by consensus, every two years before the Winter and Summer Games. But Russia this year demanded a vote, judging “unacceptable” the absence in the text of a reference to “principles of equal and non-politicized access” to sports competitions.

Russia denounces ‘dangerous trend of political interference in sport’

The IOC considers Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 as a violation of the Olympic truce linked to the 2022 Beijing Olympics and has therefore recommended that international federations ban their competitions from Russian soil and ban all official symbols. Russian – anthem or flag. He also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee in October for placing several sports organizations in occupied Ukrainian regions under his authority. But the body has not yet ruled on the participation or not of Russian athletes in the Paris 2024 Games.

“There is a dangerous trend towards political interference in sport and using it as an instrument of political pressure,” denounced the Russian deputy ambassador to the UN Maria Zabolotskaya, pointing out a “discrimination” against Russian athletes, considered the “summit of hypocrisy and cynicism”.

“This is in no way discrimination against athletes, it concerns respect for the rules of the Olympic Charter”replied Thomas Bach to the press, also deploring Russia’s announcement of the organization in 2024 of “friendship games” (a competition planned shortly after the Olympics, where China and Kazakhstan are expected) . “Sporting events must be organized by sports organizations“, he insisted, believing that if this competition took place, “sport would then be part of the political tensions and divisions of the world“.

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