the Olympic Truce

· Olympic Truce: a challenge for sport... an opportunity for peace

The Olympic Games of Athens 2004 and Turin 2006, the European Youth Olympic Festival of Lignano 2005, the Mediterranean Games of Pescara 2009, the Winter Universiade hosted by Turin in 2007: through those international events the Mediterranean become the centre of the worldwide sport for a period of 5 years. We think that the history give us an important occasion to re-discover sport and the Games directly from the area where they were born.
The Olympic Truce, based on the International Laws and on the adhesion of Peoples and States is the right instrument to make it real and to add value to this opportunity.

The Olympic Truce is a concept that dates back to the tradition of Olympism in the ancient Greece. The definition of Olympic Truce in Ancient Greek is “Ekecheiria” (“rising the hands”) and it was used since 800 BC, after the drafting of a peace treaty, sealed by 3 kings (Ifito, Cleostene and Licurgo). The other Greek cities agreed after this “international treaty”: thanks to it came the Olympia’s inviolability and immunity. Moreover, during the period of Olympic Truce, athletes, artists and their families, as normal pilgrims, could travel in total security to share or watch the Olympic Games and then go back home.

An Olympic Truce from below

PeaceWaves propose an Olympic Truce which arises from below, promoted by the associations and organizations operating in the reality of the Host City of the Games through projects at local, national and international level. This Truce will mean not only the interruption of all the conflicts during the period of the Games, but it will be an occasion for peace-building and peace-keeping, sustaining human rights, equal opportunities under an intercultural view.
Furthermore the Olympic Truce is the occasion to make equal the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the extension of the Olympic Truce at the paralympic period and the unification of the Olympic Family between the able and disable athletes.

The city that hosts the Games must burden on the responsibility not only the mere material organization of the event, but above all the message, the model that the city intends to launch when the eyes of the world are all upon it.
We propose that the host cities will have to undertake specific pledges, sharing them with local authorities, schools, universities, civil society, writing a “social plan”, that is a territorial plan for the Olympic Truce. This pact must contain projects and pledges, checkable by a third party, and must promote the diffusion of the “best practices”.
Along with the technical dossier that the cities have to present in order to host the Games, the before mentioned “social plan” should be handed in too. It should embody the needs of the international community, a qualitative requirement that must correspond to the Olympic Spirit, going beyond the mere organisational efficiency.

The concretization in “glocal” action of the Olympic Truce must be more than ever one of the requirements for a correct organization of the Olympic Games and, at the same time, an opportunity for a human sustainable development.

Sport and the Olympic Games as a peace tool

The characteristic of the Olympics as a worldwide events, which take place biennially (summer and winter Games), the importance that they hold on the media: those are the instruments that could be used for the promotion of the Olympic ideal, in its meaning of sport as a peace tool.

Since the beginning of the Olympic Games of the modern age (1896), the meaning of sport is understood to unite all the people: unfortunately, it has been violated many times.

The Olympic Truce, for PeaceWaves, doesn’t mean only a STOP to all the conflict during the Games, but it represent an opportunity to re-open dialogues that were erroneously considered closed or impossible. It is a metaphor of mediation in conflicts and sustainable development, for a responsible freedom and a new idea of citizenship, respecting Peoples and diversities.

The way we are undertaking it will offer to us the possibility to reflect and to have a dialogue on the themes of freedom, interculturality, the courage to make a choice, justice and forgiveness, the responsibility of our actions.
Furthermore we will have the possibility to promote peace actions as the creative and non-violent resolution of conflicts, guided by the solidarity of men for their brothers and their earth.