Message of support by Nelson Mandela to the Olympic Truce Initiative, Athens - Greece

19 June 2002

The Olympic Games represent one of the most evocative moments of celebrating our unity as human beings in pursuit of noble ideals.

Paramount amongst those ideals is the quest for global peace.

The Olympic Truce Initiative is a highly commendable effort to remind us of that objective behind the Olympic Games, and to give concrete substance to the ideal of peace.

We have on previous occasions expressed ourselves in support of this initiative and we are privileged to reaffirm our support.

This initiative could not have come at a more appropriate time. As we prepare for the next Olympic Games, very symbolically here where it started, the world continues to be plagued by conflict, violence and war.

We add our voice to those calling on all nations of the world to cease hostilities during the Olympic Games. And it is our wish that the period of cessation of hostilities be exploited by all to negotiate, talk and arrive at lasting peace.

We must believe that as rational beings it is eminently possible to settle our differences peacefully and through negotiations.

It is for that reason, believing in the rational capacity of human beings, that we publicly reaffirm our support for the Olympic Truce Initiative.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation