In all the preparations for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games the Olympic Truce is often overlooked and yet Truce was at the heart of the ancient ideal of the Olympic Games. I believe that London 2012 provides a perfect platform to rediscover that ancient ideal and to light a torch of peace which can be passed on the future Hosts.
The Olympic Truce transcends the games and is the subject of a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly calling on all member states to ‘pursue initiatives for peace and reconcilliation during the period of the Games’. The Resolution of the UN General Assembly is duly signed by every member state and then, sadly, ignored. In fact there is no record of any government taking any initiative for peace during the Games at any time.
The Ancient Games started in 776 BC were held every four years for nearly twelve centuries. The Truce was sacred and violations were extremely rare and punished by suspension from the following Games.
In the modern era the Olympic Truce has been seen as merely symbolic despite being backed by a UN Resolution. The modern Olympics have been running for just over one century and yet during that time they have been cancelled due to war three times, subjected to mass boycotts five times, terrorist attacks twice and the Truce have been violated on virtually every occasion.
What is it that we have lost in three thousand years of civilisation that we should find it so difficult to exercise restraint in the conduct of warfare and can we rediscover it in time for London 2012. I believe we can, but we need to start now.
To support this campaign encourage MPs’ to sign Early day Motion 893.