'Quad' Refuses to Co-Sponsor UN's 'Olympic Truce' Resolution, Australia and US Mull Boycott
11:33 GMT 03.12.2021 (Updated: 18:35 GMT 19.10.2022)
The ‘Olympic Truce’ has a 3,000-year history. The ancient Greeks established the Ekecheiria - a cessation of hostilities - so that Greek city-states could take a breather from their almost constantly state of conflict with one another, and participate in the Olympic Games. Since 1993, the tradition has been adopted by the UN General Assembly.
The ‘Quad’, a quasi-alliance comprising Australia, India, Japan and the US, has refused to lend its weight to the "Olympic Truce
" Resolution, which was otherwise adopted through "consensus" by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday.
A report in Australian daily The Age
cited American and Australian officials as claiming that both their governments could announce a diplomatic boycott of the sporting events in Beijing next week to protest against the alleged mistreatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said in a communique that 20 governments out of the 193 member nations have refused to co-sponsor the "truce" resolution.
Since 1993, Israel and North Korea have consistently refused to back the Olympics-linked resolution at the UN.
This time Turkey is also among the countries which has reportedly refused to co-sponsor the UN truce resolution over the alleged human rights abuses
against Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Province (XAR).
The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing between 4 and 20 February next year, and will be followed by the Paralympic Games, scheduled to be held between 4 and 13 March.
Regardless of the 20 abstaining nations, the IOC has hailed adoption of the resolution by other member states.
“By adopting this resolution, you are supporting the mission of the Olympic Games to unite the best winter sport athletes of the entire world, without any discrimination whatsoever, in a peaceful and respectful competition,” Luis Alberto Moreno, the UN's permanent observer for the IOC, said during the debate on the resolution.
“This bond of our shared humanity is even more relevant in our polarised world today,” added Moreno.
If the US and Australia were to stage a diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022, the athletes would have to travel to and participate in the games without the accompaniment of any officials from their home. The US delegation at the Tokyo Summer Olympics this year was led by US First Lady Jill Biden.
19 November 2021, 08:15 GMT
Last month, US President Joe Biden
had said that a “diplomatic boycott” of the event was “something that we are considering”. Biden’s response elicited a sharp response from Chinese state media, with Global Times quipping that the US wasn’t in a position to boycott the event since none of its diplomats had been invited in the first place.
In the case of India, foreign minister Jaishankar Subrahmanyam expressed “support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games” during the 18th round of Russia-India-China foreign ministers’ meeting held virtually on 26 November, a joint communique
India’s reported stance at the UN General Assembly vote is therefore a departure from its expression of support in the three-nation joint statement.