About the Truce
The “ignored” UN Resolution
The Olympic Truce accompanies each Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since 1993 this Truce has been given the status of a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, proposed jointly by the International Olympic Committee and the host government of the Games.
The United Nations Resolution (A/RES/48/11) which “Urges all Member States to take the initiative to abide by the Truce, individually and collectively, and to pursue in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations the peaceful settlement of all international conflicts.”
All 193 Member States of the United Nations sign up to the UN Resolution unanimously, but there is absolutely no record of any signatory to the Resolution ever taking any ‘initiative to abide by the Truce, individually or collectively’.
Truce takes two: there is no question of the Resolution suggesting that one side in a conflict lay down their arms unilaterally. It does suggest that the offer for a pause in the conflict be made in good faith.
The Resolution for the London 2012 Games will be proposed by the United Kingdom Government and we are urging the proposer and signatories to do things differently in London 2012 and make efforts to take this UN Resolution seriously.
Our aim is for the UK government to be able to announce a credible series of initiatives which it plans to take in observance of the truce when it appears before the UN General Assembly to propose the Resolution for London 2012 in October, 2011.
Our belief is that if the UK government, as proposer, were to show that it was going to take the truce seriously then the other 192 member states may follow suit.
London is a unique host city for the Games with more reason than most to take to take the truce seriously (insert link to London unique city). It would be appropriate if the legacy of London may be that it was the place where the ancient ideal of truce was rediscovered.
Why a Walk for Truce
Being a member of Parliament is a privileged position from which to campaign for the Truce to be taken seriously and this has been done. However, despite supportive words the UK government have not yet committed to any concrete initiatives which they intend to take in connection with the Truce. Concern is mounting that if specific proposals are not being developed over the next nine months then they will run out of time to do anything meaningful before the Games in London.
We spend billions of pounds enforcing other UN resolutions, but we can’t put even a fraction of this effort into encouraging truce and peace. My hope is that the Walk For Truce will act as a catalyst for action in a way that mere words could not.
Michael Walton Bates, Baron Bates (born 26 May 1961, Gateshead) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. At the 1992 general election, he was elected MP for Langbaurgh.
Michael was a government whip from 1994 to 1996, and Paymaster General from 1996 to 1997.
He was awarded a life peerage on 30 June 2008; his title was gazetted as Baron Bates, of Langbaurgh in the County of North Yorkshire.