Olympic Truce Wall launched in Village

August 2nd, 2008 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 2 (Xinhua) The Olympic Truce Wall was launched here in the Olympic Village as athletes, International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials and the Beijing Olympic Games organisers signed on it to express their wish for a peaceful world. IOC president Rogge first signed in Chinese on the Wall, named the Wall for Peace and Friendship by the Beijing Games organisers.

“The world today is a difficult place to live in. There are many conflicts between nations and there are civil wars within a single nation but there is an exception and the exception is the Olympic Village,” said the IOC chief Friday.

“While 205 national Olympic committees live together peacefully, irrespective of their ethnic origin or the gender, the culture, the language or the political system, this unity of mankind is very important signal to the world,” he said.

“Two days ago we were able to invite the athletes from Iraq to participate in the Games,” he continued.

The Beijing Olympics’ expectation of having a full-house gathering was endangered when the IOC disqualified Iraq recently from participating in the Games because the Iraqi government dissolved the national Olympic body and appointed an interim group presided over by the Minister of Youth and Sports.

But IOC lifted the ban Tuesday night and four Iraqi athletes are expected to compete in Beijing now.

The idea for building an Olympic Truce Wall was initiated in the Athens Olympic Games four years ago and this practice is expected to be followed in a bid to promote peace through sport.

Moreover, the 192-member UN General Assembly adopted unanimously a resolution in October last year, entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”, calling for truce during the Beijing Games.

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