EXPLAINER - What is the Olympic Truce in the World?

BEIJING (AP), -- Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, urged the international community to observe his commitment to the Olympic Truce at the Beijing opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. "Give peace a chance."

EXPLAINER - What is the Olympic Truce in the World?

BEIJING (AP), -- Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, urged the international community to observe his commitment to the Olympic Truce at the Beijing opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. "Give peace a chance."

It doesn't matter if you agree with John Lennon, but it is a plea that has been repeated repeatedly to no avail. An apparent exercise in futility. Even Bach had clearly distanced himself from the IOC's Olympic Truce during the Games, as they unfolded against the backdrop of increased tensions between Russia & the West over Ukraine.

"We can only appeal to you: "Please respect your own commitment," he said during a February 3 press conference. He also stated that the U.N. resolution was merely a symbolic act. "Please don't touch the Games."

EXPLAINER - What is the Olympic Truce in the World?

By MALLIKA SENS

Today

FILE - A replica of the Olympic flag is brought into the stadium by the Olympic Committee during the opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics. This was in Beijing on February 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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FILE - A replica of the Olympic flag is brought into the stadium by the Olympic Committee during the opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics. This was in Beijing on February 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

BEIJING (AP), -- Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, urged the international community to observe his commitment to the Olympic Truce at the Beijing opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. "Give peace a chance."

It doesn't matter if you agree with John Lennon, but it is a plea that has been repeated repeatedly to no avail. An apparent exercise in futility. Even Bach had clearly distanced himself from the IOC's Olympic Truce during the Games, as they unfolded against the backdrop of increased tensions between Russia & the West over Ukraine.

"We can only appeal to you: "Please respect your own commitment," he said during a February 3 press conference. He also stated that the U.N. resolution was merely a symbolic act. "Please don't touch the Games."

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Each two years, the host nation of the Olympics introduces a U.N. Resolution that other member countries can sponsor. This truce will ensure safe passage for the athletes during the Games, and promote the idea that we can work towards world peace.

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15 times, the U.N. Resolution confirming the Olympic Truce was passed. Each Olympics' renewal is rooted in the idealism that underpins modern Games and international law generally: It is aspirational.

What is the Olympic Truce? What role does the Olympic Truce play on the small stage of international affairs?

WHAT PERIOD DOES THE TRUE LAST?

It took almost two months. It starts seven days before each Olympic Games start and ends seven days following the conclusion of the Paralympics. The Beijing Olympics started February 4, and the Paralympics end March 13.

WHERE DID THE TRUE COME OUT?

The 1993 Lillehammer Winter Olympics saw the establishment of the modern Olympic Truce. Its roots lie in the concept "ekecheiria", which dates back to the ninth-century B.C. when Greek city-states were at war without end. (Though they didn't always adhere to the pact).

The modern Olympics were founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896 to build a harmonious future. However, formalization didn't occur until after the Cold War, when athletes from the dissolving Yugoslavia had to compete. Some Olympics were also cancelled in the interim.

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE FIGHTING EVER SINCE 1993

Every modern Olympics has seen some kind of hot conflict. J. Simon Rofe is a student in diplomacy at the University of London's SOAS. He also specializes in sports diplomacy.

It boils down to semantics, and mental gymnastics. They may not be openly flouting Olympic Truce but instead say that it doesn't apply. Rofe may tell them, "This isn’t what it’s meant for." "But they may say, 'This isn't what it's meant for'," Rofe says.

What are the consequences of ignoring the truth?

They aren't. The court of public opinion may give an aggressor a slight advantage, but this is rarely significant.

Bach stated bluntly to reporters at a Beijing press conference that if we get in the middle tensions, disputes, and confrontations with the political powers then the Games are at risk."

NO CONSEQUENCE NOW, WHAT IS THE POINT?

Although the Truce doesn't guarantee lasting peace, Charlotte Ku (an international law expert and professor at Texas A&M University School of Law) says that the Olympics provide a great venue for informal discussions between heads of state or government from non-boycotting countries. "So to that extent there might be an option to resolve issues or at least to find a framework to continue conversation."

Rofe says that ambition is a good thing.

He says, "I believe the Olympic Truce serves an important purpose providing a model for behavior in international affairs and giving opportunity to what sport could achieve."

HAS RUSSIA ACCORDED TO THE TRUE?

Yes, quite enthusiastically.

Russia was among the 173 countries that co-sponsored the resolution for Beijing 2022. Stepan Kuzmenkov representing the Russian Mission to United Nations exhorted everyone not to forget the Truce. He also made it clear that he did not approve of the collective punishment of athletes. Russia is not participating in these Games as Russia. Russia's athletes are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee due to doping sanctions.

Could Russia be the one to break the truth?

This question depends on who is evaluating violations. Russia believes that it has not broken the Truce, even in 2008 and 2014. This is because Russia viewed South Ossetia's and Crimea's settlements as domestic matters. The United Nations established the Olympic Truce, but it does not have any jurisdiction over domestic disputes.

(Officially, Georgia, Ukraine, and the majority of the international community don’t see things the same way.

The United States claims that an invasion of Ukraine is imminent, but Russia insists otherwise. This would jeopardize the Olympic sanctity and strike a blow at the host country, Russia, which has grown closer over the years. It's possible that Putin will wait for the Games to conclude before he invades Ukraine. This would not embarrass Xi Jinping, the Chinese President.

WHY DID THE UNITED STATES NOT CO-SPONSOR THIS YESTERDAY'S TRUE RESOLUTION

Although the United States joined the U.N. consensus on the resolution, it was not one of the 192 members that cosponsored it. This marked a departure from the Tokyo Olympics when the U.S. co-sponsored that resolution. The U.S. Mission at the U.N. criticized parts of the China-introduced resolution in its explanation. that it deemed not "inter-governmentally agreed language."

These paragraphs were about Beijing's vision of the Olympics, which included inspiring youth, promoting winter sports, world peace, and a commitment towards delivering "Olympic Games green, inclusive, transparent, open, and clean" in accordance with the U.S. Sustainable Development Goals. Ku believes it's possible that the U.S. didn't want China to have any cover.

The Indo-Pacific "Quad", alliance of U.S. allies -- Japan, Australia, and India -- did not co-sponsor. However, other allies such as France and Germany signed on.

WHAT IS THE UNITED STATES' OWN HISTORY WITH THE OLYMPIC TRUE?

The Truce has been violated by the U.S. in a number of ways, including wars in the Middle East. The IOC urged the U.S. to not violate the spirit and intent of the Truce in 1998 by calling for military action against Iraq.

Mike McCurry, then spokesperson for the White House, responded that "not to my knowledge" is the effect of sporting events on any decision-making or thinking the president and senior policy leaders are undertaking.

However, the U.N. and the IOC were the ones that pushed for an American retaliatory military campaign against Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The United States, as the host country of the 2002 Winter Olympics introduced a Truce resolution which did not require the cessation or abandonment of hostilities. This was a departure from previous precedent. Francois Carrard (the IOC's former director general), stated that the body needed to be realistic and was not expecting anything other than safe passage for athletes.

What's the relationship between IOC and UNITED NATIONS?

Although they are distinct entities, the U.N. and IOC are often considered partners. Since the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, the IOC is a permanent observer at the United Nations. The U.N. flag has been flying at competition sites ever since. 1998. Both organizations claim to have similar goals. The U.N. has also endorsed sports as an enabler for its sustainable development goals.

Not to be confused, the IOC has more national committees that the U.N.

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