THE WEEKLY COMMENT


ARMISTICE AND OLYMPIC GAMES

In ancient times the custom of armistice during the Olympic Games had prevailed among Greek cities-states. This was an era of wars, where the law of the most powerful country prevailed. For that era, armistice meant the wish for a peaceful co-operation among all states, a wish that was respected only during the period of the Games.

Today, all countries of the world have been bound by the duty to perpetual peaceful resolution of disputes, to respect the rights of persons and peoples without distinctions. Moreover, there exist competent organs for the resolution of disputes between states, which were set up by international treaties. In short, the institutional framework for a continuous peaceful living of all peoples, on the basis of the customary rules of international law, is there.

Contrary to that, wars are waged in the world, more disastrous than ever, because of the developed war machines. Wars which negate almost all human rights (of life, of human dignity and self-determination, of corporal integrity, of family life, of work, of living under conditions corresponding to the contemporary cultural situation – the whole infrastructure is destroyed – of private property, etc).

It has not been possible to reach an international agreement for the three-week armistice that Greece, the country holding the 2004 Olympic Games, proposed. Not only it is impossible to endorse a permanent peace, pursuant to contemporary duties and obligations, but it is impossible to have a three-week armistice, which in ancient times was maintained even though there were no relevant international conventions and organs for the resolution of international disputes.

This is another example of how far international practice is from the international rules and the principles for respecting peace and human rights! How many struggles are still required for peoples to impose their application.