The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in condemning Russia’s breach of the Olympic Truce ahead of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
The Olympic Truce was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 December 2021 by consensus of all 193 Member States and is co-sponsored by 173 Member States, including Russia. The Olympic Truce began before the start of the Olympic Winter Games on 4 February 2022 and ends on 20 March, seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Winter Games. The practice of world leaders adopting the Olympic Truce has a long history. The current resolution “calls upon all Member States to co-operate with the IOC and IPC in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “This is a truly horrible situation, and we are greatly concerned about our National Paralympic Committee and Para athletes from Ukraine.
“Our top priority right now is the safety and well-being of the Ukrainian delegation, with whom we are in regular dialogue. Earlier today I spoke with Valeriy Sushkevych, the President of the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee, who informed me that his Para athletes wish to compete in Beijing, however getting the team to Beijing is going to be a mammoth challenge.
“One key aspect of the Truce is ensuring the safe passage, access and participation of athletes, officials, and all accredited persons taking part in the Games. We need to find a solution for this as soon as possible so that the Ukrainian delegation can travel to and from the Games safely. World leaders must observe their commitment to the Olympic Truce, in particular those Member States who are a co-sponsor of the resolution.
“We have seen at the Olympic Winter Games, and we will see again at the Paralympic Winter Games, athletes from different nations competing with each other, not against each other. Sport is a tremendous platform to showcase to the world what can be achieved when people of all nations come together in peace and solidarity. The world must be a place for sharing, not for dividing. I hope and pray world leaders take heed of this."