Getting into Olympic gear

The following article is written by Gordon Sillence, the London Olympic 2012 Truce Campaign Coordinator

The “500 days to go clock” started for the London 2012 Olympic Games in mid March 2011. That also means there are now less than 500 days to go to plan and implement a credible worldwide 16 day long truce. This article updates the progress towards the successful implementation of the Truce as it is being monitored by Gordon Sillence, who is the coordinator of the London 2012 Olympic Truce Campaign.

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Gordon Sillence with Chris Ford at Wellness at AlmaVerde

The British Government have started to react to the issue and there are many positive processes in place now that mean the call for the Truce will definitely happen – in Autumn this year the UK government will submit a resolution to the UN on this issue. Baroness Garden, Lord Baker and Lord Coe have all spoken about the Truce in the UK Parliament. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are currently managing ideas on how to proceed. Lord Coe – as chair of the LOC – is responsible for organizing the truce within the UK. The Culture and Education Programmes of the London Organising Committee will promote the Truce in the UK. There are various campaigns such as the London 2012 Get Set education programme that will teach school children about the Olympic truce.

The European Parliament and Commission have been informed of developments and will assess ways of supporting the initiative, with interest shown in the showcasing of responsible tourism initiative. This group of European level contacts includes the MEP for South East England, Micheal Cramer (German MEP). Mr Tajani cabinet (Commissioner for Enterprise), and Mr Matheiu Hoberigis DG Enterprise Tourism Unit.

At the global level, in the IOC the vice President can be brought into this network. Mr Talab Rifai of the UN-WTO has been presented with information and will determine the part of the UNWTO. The issue will also be raised with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism to increase global awareness of the tourism stakeholder contributions and opportunities. The initiative has also gained global recognition in this sector through the VISTAs 2012 tourism best practice awards.

Next steps

The IIPT May 2011 conference in Zambia can be a useful stepping stone to highlight the peace call in Africa, and a global sub regional awareness and sign up strategy is being prepared. In recognition that it will be the Culture and Education Programmes of the London Organising Committee who will promote the Truce in the UK, it would be useful to contact ministries of culture and education to get the commitment process going around the world. If you add sports, tourism and environment ministries you get a multi-stakeholder participative process in motion, which is what is needed to spread the message to all sections of society in time for the Games.

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As this Inner Peace- Global Peace Campaign is essentially about the move from a culture of violence to a culture of peace, the movement needs to happen on both a societal and personal level. The process of mapping the actions of those who are willing to sign up to a coalition of the willing will take place from now onwards.

A series of creative projects need to be established to balance this top down approach in which everyone can participate in the 16 days of inner peace – global peace effort. Eg, London Firemen for the Olympic Peace, Dancers for Olympic Truce, Businesses for Olympic Peace, Celebrities for the Truce, Christians for Truce Vigils, Buddhists for Olympic Peace, Olympic Athletes for Peace, Politicians for the Global Truce, etc… Above all the media have a key role to play in taking up this message and making it a global issue so that politicians do their job and oversee the Truce implementation process. Finally, Olympic official sponsors should take on board the need for their support to see this happen.

The current events in the Middle East confirm that we need to work harder for a global truce. 2012 will bring other issues of global security, whilst the Olympic Games themselves will make London a fortress city of fear in need of a positive affirmation of a world at peace and people at peace with each other and at peace with ourselves. The London 2012 Olympic Peace Campaign document sets a common vision for this. We now need to see well co-ordinated, well-resourced timely actions as the clock is counting down.

For further information about this document please contact

gordon.sillence@gmail.com or phone 00351 912373124

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