THE OLYMPIC TRUCEA truce (which literally means "holdingof hands") was announced before andduring each of the Olympic festivals, to allow visitors to travel safely to Olympia. A Truce was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and peacefully return to their respective countries An inscription describing the truce was written on abronze discus which was displayed at Olympia. During the truce, wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from entering Elis or threatening the Games, and legal disputes and the carrying out of death penalties were forbidden.
THE SYMBOL The Olympic Truce is symbolized by the dove of peace, with the traditional Olympic flame in the background. In a world plagued by wars and animosity, the peace-dove symbol represents one of the IOCs ideals and challenges: to build a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal. The Olympic flame has brought warm friendship to all the people of the world through sharing and togetherness. In the symbol, the flame is made up of colourful effervescent elements – evoking the joy experienced in the celebration of the human spirit. These elements represent people of all races coming together for the observance of the Truce.
THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC TRUCE FOUNDATION In the framework of promoting peace through sport and the Olympic ideal, the IOC established an International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF) in July 2000. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, and it has a symbolic office in Olympia. The IOTF defines its actions around the following objectives: • To promote the Olympic ideals to serve peace, friendship and understanding in the world, and in particular, to promote the ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce; • To initiate conflict prevention and resolution through sport, culture and the Olympic ideals, particularly by cooperating with all inter- and non-governmental organisations specialised in this field, by developing educational and research programmes, and by launching communications campaigns to promote the Olympic Truce.
GOAL• Mobilize youth for the promotion of the Olympic ideals• Use sport to establish contacts between communities in conflict• Offer humanitarian support in countries at war• Create a window of opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation• Olympic Truce is taken seriously for the first time by member states of the United Nations.• For the British government, as proposer of the London 2012 Truce Resolution to the General Assembly of the UN, to lead by example in identifying two or three initiatives which it will implement for the Truce and announcing them when they formally move the Resolution in October, 2011.• Humanitarian aid reaches conflict zones during the period of Truce saving lives.• Some dialogue commences in current conflicts.• To raise awareness of the Olympic Truce and rediscover its values as the founding purposes of the Olympic Games.• The legacy of the Truce from the UK 2012 raises the international bar of expectation for the Truce for Russia (2014) and Brazil (2016)
WHAT ARE SOME PRACTICAL WAYS TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS:• Create a humanitarian window, in co-ordination with the UN, NATO and EU, through which immunisation and vaccination of children could be delivered into conflict areas around the world where combatants agree to observe the Olympic Truce in London 2012.• The Prime Minister David Cameron could announce that the Coalition government will take the Olympic Truce seriously and that he will personally propose the Truce Resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations.• Instruct the Olympics Cabinet sub-committee to collate ideas from inside government and outside as to how the Olympic Truce could be implemented.
UNITED NATIONS SUPPORT The United Nations is in support of the Olympic Truce and before each Olympic Games, adopts a resolution called"Building a peaceful and better world through sport and theOlympic ideal". UN Member States are asked to observe the Olympic Truce, and work towards the settlement of international disagreements by peaceful and diplomaticmeans. The United Kingdom was the first ever nation to get all 193 UN Member states to sign the Olympic Truce for the 2012 Olympic Games.
• In July 2000, the International Olympic Committee, in close cooperation with Greece, established the International Olympic Truce Foundation and its operational arm, the International Olympic Truce Centre, with the goal of reviving the ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce.• The Olympic Truce Centre is an international non- governmental organization which operates within the framework of the Olympic Movement. Its mission is to promote the Olympic Ideal, to serve peace, friendship and international understanding, and to uphold the Olympic Truce. It promotes a Culture of Peace, through a combination of global and local initiatives, mobilizing leaders, athletes and young people of the world behind the cause of sport and peace.• The symbolic seat of the International Olympic Truce Centre is in Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. The Centre has a liaison office in Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the International Olympic Committee. The executive offices of the International Olympic Truce Centre are in Athens, where the first Games of the modern era were held in 1896.
• The Olympic truce was faithfully observed, for the most part, although the historian Thucydides recounts that the Lacedaemonians were banned from participating in the Games, after they attacked a fortress in Lepreum, a town in Elis, during the truce. The Lacedaemonians complained that the truce had not yet been announced at the time of their attack. But the Eleans fined them two thousand minae, two for each soldier, as the law required.• Another international truce was enforced during the annual Mysteries, a religious rite held at the major sanctuary site of Eleusis. The truces of Olympia and Eleusis not only allowed worshippers and athletes to travel more safely; they also provided a common basis for peace among the Greeks. Lysistrata, the title character in a comic play by Aristophanes, makes this point when she tries to convince the Athenians and the Spartans to end their war.
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