United Nations: India did not participate in voting on a UN General Assembly resolution on building a peaceful and better world through sport and recognising the role of sports in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism as well as promoting human rights.
The 193-member UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution ‘Building a Peaceful and Better World through Sport and the Olympic Ideal’ tabled by France Tuesday.
The resolution has been traditionally adopted by consensus but this year, Russia called for a recorded vote on the text for it to be adopted.
Of the 193 UN member states, 120 voted in the UNGA on the resolution, which received 118 votes in favour and none against, with Russia and Syria abstaining.
India was among the 73 nations that were absent from voting on the resolution.
The resolution recognised the contribution of sports in creating an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations, its role to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism and its contributions to building resilience against radicalisation to violence and terrorist recruitment.
It recognised that sport and the Olympic and Paralympic games can be used to promote human rights and strengthen universal respect for such rights, thus contributing to their full realisation.
The UN General Assembly considers the resolution every two years, in advance of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
With Paris set to host the Olympics from July 26 to August 11 next year and the Paralympic Games from August 28 to September 8 next year, the resolution urged member states to observe the Olympic Truce individually and collectively throughout the period from the seventh day before the start of the games until the seventh day following the end of the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024, “to ensure the safe passage, access and participation of athletes, officials and all other accredited persons taking part in the Games of the Olympiad and the Paralympic Games, and to contribute through other appropriate measures to the safe organisation of the games”.
According to information on the UN website, Russia said that the decision of the International Olympic Committee to bar Russian athletes from participating in the Olympic Games is a politicised and discriminatory one.
The double standards and segregation based on nationality are a violation of basic human rights, the Russian delegate said.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that in today’s fragile world, the Olympic Truce Resolution is more relevant than ever.
“The Olympic Games can only make this contribution to peace through a fundamental commitment to political neutrality and universality,” Bach said.
“Universality can only be achieved through solidarity. This is why we support all the athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees and from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team. Solidarity means: in the Olympic Movement, there is no “global south” or “global north”. At the Olympic Games, we are all equal,” he added.
He further said that one of the aspects of non-discrimination is that athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments or their National Olympic Committees.
All athletes who are qualified on the field of play and are abiding by the rules of the Olympic Charter must have an opportunity to participate in international competitions.
“We are upholding this principle of non-discrimination also in the context of the violation of the Olympic Charter by the National Olympic Committee of Russia. We had to suspend them because they violated the territorial integrity of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, by including as their members sports organisations of Ukrainian regions,” Bach said.
He stressed that upholding all these Olympic values is the contribution that “we in the Olympic Movement can make to build a better and more peaceful world through sport”.