KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 (Bernama) -- United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, in joining the International Olympic Committee, today called on those engaged in armed hostilities around the world to lay down their weapons and observe the Olympic Truce on the eve of the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
"I call on all combatants everywhere to respect the Olympic Truce, which has been adopted by all 193 United Nations member states. Overcoming conflict is a constant struggle, but we must persist in doing our utmost to win adherence to it," he said in a statement, which was made available here today.
In calling for this year's Truce, Ban said his thoughts were with the people of Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and all others suffering from senseless violence, including the families who lost loved ones in the recent bombings that took place in Volgograd, not far from Sochi.
"The Olympic Truce is rooted in the hope that if people and nations can put aside their differences for one day, they can build on that to establish more lasting cease-fires and find paths towards durable peace, prosperity and human rights," he said.
He said participants in the Sochi Games might carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality, fair play, mutual respect and non-discrimination
"I encourage all those involved in the games - governments, groups, organisations and individual - to uphold and defend these core Olympic ideals," he said.....