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Peace Groups from Brooklyn, NY and The Netherlands Urge World Leaders to Observe Olympic Truce
Collaborative partners in peace – “World Peace Is Possible” and “I Declare World Peace” - take advantage of ancient Olympic tradition to press for peace.
According to Wikipedia, the Olympic Truce is an almost 3,000 year old sacred tradition originating in Ancient Greece. Historically, a Truce was announced before and during the Olympic Games to enable athletes and spectators to travel safely to and from the Games. During the Truce period, wars were actually suspended and armies were prohibited from threatening the Games, among other things.
The tradition of Olympic Truce was modernized, and on November 2, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted UN Resolution 48/11 which “Urges Member States to observe the Olympic Truce from the seventh day before the opening and the seventh day following the closing of each of the Olympic Games, in accordance with the appeal launched by the International Olympic Committee”.
Janny Smits, key spokesperson and artistic and creative director of World Peace Is Possible, said from Holland that the Olympic Games actually demonstrate that peace is indeed possible. “You have a situation where the world comes together voluntarily every four years, to meet, compete, play and enjoy the great diversity of human culture on this planet in a peaceful way. This shows that peace is not only a matter of choice, but that it is an easy and achievable choice.”
In Brooklyn, attorney Lawrence R. Gelber, a founder of the I Declare World Peace project, agreed with Smits and noted that the legal framework for global peace has been in place for almost 90 years. “In the 1920s or thereabouts, the world agreed, in writing, to end all wars via the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Even Afghanistan signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which remains a valid treaty, and hence, good law, to this day.” Gelber noted that the existence of the Olympic Truce, as modernized by UN Resolution 48/11, creates an opportunity “for the world to step back from violence and honor its sworn commitments to peace as set forth in the Kellogg-Briand Pact”.
Gelber also noted that the Olympic Truce complies with religious and traditional laws and customs from around the globe. For example, Gelber said, the laws of the “so-called Abrahamic religions - Canon Law, Sharia and Talmudic Law – all permit cooperation, and therefore peace, with others. Similarly, Eastern religions, with emphases on respect for others and the importance of right action, also support peace. And of course the traditional forms of community cooperation in Africa are the very essence of peace.”
Ms. Smits added that the ultimate “Olympic gold medal” would be worldwide peace. “The wonderful athletes who are competing in London this summer have the ability to stand and shine as a lighthouse for the world, because they in fact demonstrate that even the most intense competition can be conducted in the spirit of joy and mutual respect for people from every culture. World peace is possible, and we are happy to reach across the ocean and join with the I Declare World Peace project in urging the world, in the strongest possible way, to make the reality of peace its number one priority this Olympic season. I say it again, World peace is indeed possible.”
Information about the peace efforts of World Peace Is Possible and I Declare World Peace, is set forth on their respective sites, www.wpip.com and www.ideclareworldpeace.org