|Statement by Liu Qi, President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, Introducing the Draft Resolution on Olympic Truce|
|New York, October 31st, 2007|
Your Excellency President Srgjan Kerim,
As President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad and on behalf of the Chinese delegation, I have the great honour to introduce draft resolution A/62/L.2, entitled "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal".
The Olympic Truce, a time-honoured tradition, finds its roots in the Olympic truce treaty passed by Greek city-states participating in the ancient Olympic Games. With a history of over 1000 years, the treaty is a peace accord that has been observed for the longest time in history. The modern Olympic Movement, which came into being in 1894, has inherited the traditions of the ancient Olympic Games. At its very heart lies the pledge to safeguard world peace and promote common development of mankind, while at the same time upholding the Olympic spirit of "swifter, higher, stronger".
The UN and the Olympic Movement are natural allies. The Olympic ideal coincides with the UN purpose to promote peace. Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has adopted seven resolutions on Olympic Truce calling on all Member States to observe the Olympic Truce. The UN Millennium Declaration adopted in 2000 also called on Member States to observe the Olympic Truce, and support the promotion of peace and human understanding through sport and the Olympic ideal. All this fully demonstrates that the UN and its Member States attach great importance to the roles played by sport and the Olympic ideal in promoting world peace, and hope to create favourable conditions and atmosphere for the success of the Olympic Games. In line with past practice, China, as the host country for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, has proposed the draft resolution entitled "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal".
The draft resolution not only captures the quintessential elements of the previous resolutions but also features the three main concepts that are at the core of the Beijing Olympic Games, namely, "Green Olympics, High-Tech Olympics and People's Olympics", and their vision to achieve harmonious development of society. It recognizes the increasingly important role of sport in the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, and reaffirms the commitments undertaken by the Heads of State and Government gathered at the World Summit in 2005. The draft urges Member States to observe the Olympic Truce during the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing which will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008, and the subsequent Paralympic Games in Beijing which will take place from 6 to 17 September 2008. It also welcomes efforts of the International Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committees of UN Member States to undertake concrete actions to promote and strengthen a culture of peace and harmony based on the spirit of the Olympic Truce, and calls upon all UN Member States to continue to use sport as an instrument to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation.
We received constructive comments and suggestions from many delegations during the consultation of this draft resolution. There are 182 co-sponsoring countries for this draft resolution. On behalf of the Chinese Government and BOCOG, I would like to convey my thanks to all the countries supporting this draft resolution. It is my sincere hope that the draft resolution will be adopted by consensus. The adoption of this resolution will help to enhance the appreciation and understanding of the Olympic ideal of peace by all peoples, and contribute to world peace.
The Olympic Truce is not only the ideal of the Olympic Movement, but also the common aspiration of all peace-loving peoples around the world. The theme slogan of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad "One World, One Dream" and its core concepts of "Green Olympics, High-Tech Olympics, and People's Olympics" give full expression to the common desire of the Chinese people and people from all over the world for peace, progress, friendly relations and harmonious development. Towards this end, BOCOG has launched various activities to promote the Olympic Truce, enhance understanding of the Olympic Truce in China and across the world, and increase the influence of the Olympic ideal of peace.
We have organized a series of events to promote the concept of peace, including the campaign to solicit songs for the Olympic Games, "Fuwa Brings Good Luck to the World", and Olympic sculpture exhibitions. We have named the Olympic Torch Relay "Journey of Harmony", a name which captures the vision of peace, harmony and cooperation. We have handed out Olympic readers and wall charts to schools, designated Olympic education model schools, and launched heart-to-heart partnership programme and Beijing Olympic Youth Camp. These educational programmes are sowing the seeds of peace, friendship and progress among the public, especially the young people. During the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, a Wall for Peace and Friendship will be erected at the Olympic and Paralympic Village to collect signatures from athletes and other people and appeal for observance of the Olympic Truce and promotion of world peace.
The IOC and its president Dr. Rogge have been working tirelessly to promote the Olympic ideal of peace. I would now like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for their commitment. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the IOC and parties concerned, the International Olympic Truce Foundation and the International Olympic Truce Centre have been established, contributing to the promotion of the Olympic ideal of peace in the whole world.
We also thank Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace for his hard work and will continue to support his office.
Peace and development are two major themes of the world today. Unfortunately, regional conflicts and local turbulences still occur, making our quest for world peace more of an uphill journey. The Olympic Games may not change the world overnight, but we have every reason to expect that the Olympic Truce, an ancient Olympic tradition, will continue to inspire the world in striving for lasting peace and common prosperity. I wish to take this opportunity to call on all Member States to adhere to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, observe the Olympic Truce and promote world peace.
In 282 days, the Olympic Flame, burning bright for solidarity, friendship and peace, will be lit in the main stadium of the Beijing Olympic Games. This is of great significance both to the Olympic Movement and to China, an ancient civilization with a time-honoured history. The international community looks forward to the success of the Beijing Olympic Games. At present, all the preparatory work is going on as scheduled. All the venues will have been completed by the end of this year, except for the National Stadium, which will be ready in early 2008 due to the project for the Opening Ceremony. The Beijing Olympic competition schedule has been finalised. To facilitate the coverage of the Games by foreign media, last year, the Chinese Government formulated the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and Preparatory Period. In addition, various programmes have been up and running, including the work on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the torch relay outside the mainland of China, media and communications, Olympic education and culture as well as volunteer training. I am convinced that with the support of all the UN Member States and their peoples, the Games of the XXIX Olympiad will surely be a complete success.
Thank you, Mr President.