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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, June 20, 2004
    Sign up for the Olympic Truce
    The Greeks started it centuries ago; not just the Olympics, but the Olympic Truce, when conflicts between nations ceased during the period of the Games.

    The International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF) in cooperation with National Olympic Committees are trying to revive the tradition of the Olympic Truce to promote the Olympic ideals and peace during the Olympic Games period and beyond. George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Affairs Minister, IOTF Vice Chairman and campaign instigator has said, "During troubled times, it is perhaps more important than ever to protect and promote the values that can bind our multicultural world together, to protect and promote the Olympic Ideals. If we can stop fighting for 16 days, then maybe we could do it forever."

    Since The Olympic Truce signature campaign was initiated at the end of 2001, more than 250 worldwide personalities have signed up, including heads of state and governments, speakers of parliaments, foreign ministers, religious leaders, heads of international organisations, Olympic Movement officials, personalities from the world of arts and literature, as well as other dignitaries and senior officials from around the world. And ordinary bods like us.

    Since then they say the Truce has helped to deliver real results during summer and winter Games, including:

    * 10,000 children inoculated in Bosnia in 1994
    * The two Koreas marched under the same flag as a sign of unity in 2000
    * Pause in bombing of Iraq in 1998
    * Pledge by African leaders to halt hostilities in 2000

    Seems worth supporting. Demos reckon so too: "The Olympic Truce has the potential to be a peace-inspiring tool for our times. Projecting its peaceful purpose could help provide security for the Olympic Games themselves, while the Truce offers the world’s peace-makers a brief opportunity to resolve conflict."

    If you agree you can sign up your support here. And if you're not sure check out the Demos book which explores the idea, 16 Days.