Korean champion figure skater Kim Yu-na address the United Nations General Assembly after the country submitted a resolution calling for peace through sports and Olympic ideals on Monday at the UN headquarters in NY.
The Greek Olympic Truce tradition dates back to the eighth century BC, and has since served as a sacred principle of the Olympic Games.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted an Olympic Truce resolution ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games on Monday in NY, calling for the games to be an opportunity to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
China and Russian Federation have pushed back against some demands the U.S. and Japan wrote into early drafts of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at halting Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The resolution was adopted by consensus on Monday at the 72nd General Assembly.
"It is the dream of every athlete to compete at the Olympic Games", Bach said, appealing as an athlete not an administrator, in his speech before the GA. It urges United Nations member states to observe the truce for seven days before the Games begin on February 9 until seven days after the Paralympic Winter Games end March 18.
"Only the United Nations member states can guarantee the athletes the safe passage to the Olympic Games", he said. He said that Korean citizens still remember the 1988 Games as a catalyst for "promoting peace through sports by bringing the East and West together".
He added that the collaboration between the organising committees of the next three Olympics, including Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, provided an opportunity to build peace on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the world.
The mountainous resort town of Pyeongchang is located just 50 miles (80 km) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border.
The theme of the General Assembly this year was "Focusing on People".
Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, expect long-time adversary North Korea to hold off for as long as possible on deciding whether to participate in the Games, South Korea's top sports official said on Tuesday. Two North Korean figure skaters have already qualified for the Games, but it is not known if they will compete.
The torch relay for PyeongChang Olympics is set to continue in South Gyeongsang Province until November 17, with a total of 467 torchbearers expected to run 297.6 kilometers in the region alone.
He recalled the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where delegations from both Koreas walked into the opening ceremony "marching together, hand in hand under the same flag".
"In our fragile world that is drifting apart, the Olympic Games have the power to unite humanity in all its diversity", Bach said. "They never erect walls".