United Nations urges countries to stop fighting during winter Olympics

Dave Ryding

The resolution, "Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal", was adopted by consensus without voting on Monday at the 72nd General Assembly.

"Only the United Nations member states can guarantee the athletes the safe passage to the Olympic Games", he said.

South Korean gold medalist Kim Yu-na, an honorary ambassador for the Pyeongchang Olympics, speaks to the UN General Assembly in support of the Olympic Truce resolution on November 13.

Korean champion figure skater Kim Yu-na address the United Nations General Assembly after the country submitted a resolution calling for peace through sports and Olympic ideals on Monday at the UN headquarters in NY.

"We welcome the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games at any time in anticipation of North Korea's response to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the peaceful development of Northeast Asia and the world".

"The Olympic Charter states the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity", she said, in a speech ahead of the passing of the resolution. "I strongly believe this is the spirit of the Olympic Games and it represents the potential and the power of sport".

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yo has assured this year's Olympics will be a success.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the pairs competition last month, however.

The PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are slated to run next year from February 9-25 and March 9-18, respectively, against the backdrop of heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"Indeed, Pyeongchang represents perhaps the most honest efforts to cross frozen borders between South and North Korea and foster a peaceful environment", she said.

Organisers are hopeful that the Games can be a vehicle for peace between the two countries.

PyeongChang 2018 marks the first of three consecutive Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Asia, and will be followed by Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

Introducing the resolution, Lee Hee-beom, the president and CEO of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee said the truce begins seven days before the opening of the Olympic Games and concludes on the seventh day after the closing of the Paralympic Games.

The consensus for the Olympic Truce resolution included both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea as well as the future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States of America.

A record 94 countries have expressed interest in sending athletes to next year's Winter Olympics, although North Korea have yet to indicate whether they will attend the Games.

While in the US, the minister will be engaged in a slew of promotional activities for the Olympics.

Following the adoption of the resolution, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach spoke of the "special significance" the resolution will carry for the athletes in PyeongChang. It's for this reason that the worldwide community must pressure North Korea into talks as soon as possible, including through use of sanctions, Moon said Tuesday, per Reuters.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, who handle all inter-Korean dialogue and attempt to boost cooperation, hope the North will participate at the Winter Olympics.

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