UN calls for truce, social inclusion and no boycott of Sochi
LAST UPDATED // Thursday, 07 November 2013 15:43
The UN General Assembly yesterday called for an international truce during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and urged Moscow “to promote social inclusion without discrimination” in the wake of international condemnation of Russia’s homophobic ‘gay propaganda’ laws.
The truce resolution was introduced to the 193-member General Assembly by Sochi Olympic organising committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko.
The resolution was approved and will see a hoped for end to fighting around the world from seven days before the Winter Olympics commence on February 23 and continue until seven days after the Paralympics end in March.
Following the resolution, International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach hit out at calls for a Winter Olympic boycott in protest over Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Following the truce resolution or host country Russia “to promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind,” Bach said “we oppose boycotts of any kind.”
“Boycotts are a fundamental contradiction to the spirit of sport, depriving it of the means to continue working for peace, mutual understanding and solidarity,” Bach said.
Instead Bach said “sport, and the Olympic Movement especially, understands the global diversity of cultures, societies and life designs as a source of richness. We never accuse or exclude anyone.”
In what was, however, perceived as a veiled message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bach added that “sport has to enjoy responsible autonomy. And politics must respect this sporting autonomy.”
Australian delegate Tanisha Hewanpola told the assembly the Olympics were important in promoting social inclusion and educating people “on such traditional values as respect, diversity, tolerance and fairness and combating all forms of discrimination including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
After the assembly Chernyshenko again stressed Russia’s guarantee of no anti-gay discrimination during the games.
“During the Games, we guarantee that there will be no discrimination whether by religious or sexual or gender distinction,” he said.