IOC President Thomas Bach waves the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
By SI Wire
November 03, 2014

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach praised a United Nations resolution on the independence of sport and its benefits for peace and development, according to Reuters.

The resolution, adopted by the UN General Assembly, states that the organization supports the independence and autonomy of sport and recognized the role of the IOC in promoting the Olympics.

The IOC praised the resolution as means to support political neutrality and reduce boycotts and discrimination.

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"We highly welcome this resolution as a historic milestone in the relations between sport and politics," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

"We must form partnerships with political organizations based on this recognition of the autonomy of sport...The excellent relations between the UN and the IOC can in this respect serve as an example for relations on the national level between National Olympic Committees and national governments."

"This relationship with governments requires that sport always remains politically neutral."

The IOC also said the text of the resolution "clearly implies" that participation in international sporting events is encouraged and that "boycotts are incompatible" with the UN's stance.

International political conflicts have influenced participation in the Olympics in the past. The United States led a boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union responded by boycotting the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

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The UN's resolution also declares that discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement.

The IOC has included an anti-discrimination clause in the contract for future Olympic host cities.

- Christopher Woody


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