PH renews support of UN Olympic Truce

By Edward Lao, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Sep 05 2012 07:47 PM | Updated as of Sep 06 2012 09:04 PM

LONDON -- In 1946, 51 founding member-states of the United Nations, including the Philippines, signed a UK-led resolution in London to support the Olympic Games and uphold its values.

Sixty-six years later, the UN held an event to commemorate the resolution in the very same location it was forged in - the Great Hall of Central Hall Westminster, opposite Westminister Abbey.

Representatives from all 51 countries were invited to the event on August 16, which began with a parade of the UN flags and Olympic Truce, led by the UN Veteran's Association.

It was followed by a dramatic re-enactment of when the treaty was signed.

A pre-signed book containing messages of support for the Olympic Truce was also circulated. The signatures and dedications in the book reaffirmed each nation's pledge to support the resolution.

Two Pinoys were on hand to represent the Philippines - Reymund Apol Enteria, an Olympic torchbearer, and Carol Panday, one of the many volunteers in the Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Enteria, who carried the iconic flame through the London Borough of Havering on July 22, was proud to be selected by the Philippine Embassy in London as one of its representatives.

"Lahat ng bansa nagsama sama ngayon para pag-usapan kung papano natin magagamit ang power ng sports para mapanatili sa atin ang kapayapaan at kaayusan sa buong mundo sa pamamagitan ng sports.

"Mapalad tayo na napili tayo ng embahada ng Pilipinas na ipadala dito. Narinig natin na bilang representative ng Pilipinas at bilang kabataan, may magagawa tayo para i-share sa Pilipinas na dapat magtulong-tulong tayo o dapat gumagawa tayo ng isang proyekto na makakatulong ma-enhance ang skills ng mga batang Pinoy pagdating sa sports. Dahil sa sports napapanatili ang kapayapaan at kaayusan ng bansa."

The event was also graced by inspirational talks from a variety of nations, who were spreading the message of peace, harmony and development through sport.

Another central theme was the passing of the UN baton to the younger generation, where youngsters from the UK and other parts of the world took turns speaking about "taking forward the legacy".

According to the UN resolution, its aim is "to promote the Olympic Truce among Member States and support for human development initiatives through sport and to co-operate with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the sporting community in general."

David Wardrop, Chair of the UN Association, Westminster Branch said, "We are celebrating the Olympic Truce - a marvelous idea started 3000 years ago that shows sports was more important than war.

"The warring Greek tribes would stop fighting each other for the opportunity to compete in sports."

Wardrop adds the UN will continue to use sport as a medium for unification.

"We will be working with young diplomats in London from every country, including the Philippines, in the Spring to say that one of the best ideas of bringing society together is having young people work together through sport.

"We hope that everyone will be in this program, especially those from the Philippines."

The Olympic Truce is renewed after every Olympic Games. The next gathering of the UN's 51 founding members for this occasion will take place at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in Brazil.