Sport as a universal language can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. To promote the contribution of sport to peace the UN Postal Administration has issued a set of 12 stamps. The date of issue (22 July) comes exactly a week ahead of the start of the Olympic Truce period for this year's 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Based on the ancient Greek tradition of ekecheiria calling for a truce during the Olympic Games to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage, in 1993 the United Nations revived this ideal by passing General Assembly Resolutions in every Olympic year to urge Member States to respect the Olympic Truce.
Through its most recent resolution in October 2015, the General Assembly called on Member States to observe the Truce from the seventh day before the start of the XXXI Olympic Summer Games until the seventh day following the end of the XV Paralympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
UNPA has partnered with the International Olympic Committee and the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace to develop and issue these colorful stamps which feature several Olympic sports.
The Olympic movement inspires people to contribute to a peaceful future for humankind through the educational value of sport. It brings together athletes from all parts of the world for the Olympic Games. One of the objectives of this great international sporting event is to promote peace, respect, mutual understanding and goodwill ‒ goals it shares with the United Nations.