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Can the 2012 Games inspire world peace?

Posted on 01/03/2012

This summer all eyes will be on London as the world’s elite athletes take centre stage to compete in the 2012 Games of the XXXth Olympiad – an historic event that sees the world’s nations united once more by sport.

But as the athletes battle to win the coveted Olympic and Paralympic medals, the Olympic Truce Committee is calling for a global truce on conflict throughout the 2012 Games.

In  a special lecture at Royal Holloway, University of London next week, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Director-General of the International Olympic Truce Centre, will discuss how the 2012 Games offer an opportunity to reflect on the values, principles and institutions that gave rise to the Olympic spirit.

The Olympic Truce is the ancient tradition on which the Olympic Games were first founded in 776 BC. Its aim was to allow warring Greek city states to set aside conflict, to celebrate togetherness, and to experience peace inspired by sport.

The Greek word for this sacred truce is "ekecheiria" which, etymologically, means "holding back one’s hands." And that is how conflict and hostility is ceased - by holding back hands.

This is the power of the Olympic Truce and the Olympic Games, where the nations of the world gather in friendly competition - impossible without peace.

In the lecture, Mr Lambrinidis will discuss the work of the International Olympic Truce Foundation and how the Olympic Truce Centre was founded in 1999 to promote a peaceful global culture according to the principles and policies established by the Foundation.

The lecture will be on Monday 5 March, in the Windsor Building Auditorium at 6.15pm. Admission free, all welcome, no booking necessary.  The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Windsor Building Foyer.

To watch the lecture view the official podcast


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