Unveiling of the Olympic Truce Installation

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Unveiling of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Installation

Vancouver, Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Humanity advances when confrontation ends and different peoples begin an enlightened dialogue of peace and reconciliation.

The Olympic Truce is a reminder of this and is an ancient tradition that Canada, as host of the 21st Olympic Winter Games, believes is important to perpetuate.

Humanity advances when indifference is forgotten and forces come together to face the impossible.

We saw this in the expressions of friendship that spread all across Canada and around the world when our sisters and brothers in Haiti were once again hit by a disaster of unimaginable proportions.

The 2010 Winter Games will being in just a few short days and all hopes are allowed.

Including the hope that Haiti will recover from this slaughter and find strength in our expressions of solidarity to mourn the people it has lost, to care for those who survived, to return to life and to rebuild.

As our athletes prepare to give their all to accomplish everything they have been training for, around us, at home and abroad in the Americas, children, women and men are fighting for their lives and stretching the limits of human suffering.

Building peace does not mean simply laying down weapons.

It means taking one step closer to others, respecting their dignity, their identity, their integrity and sometimes their pain, around us, at home and abroad.

That is what the Organizing Committee for the Games was saying in announcing this contribution to the organizations that are assisting the Haitian people in these difficult and trying times.

I am delighted by VANOC’s decision to broaden the outlines of the Olympic Truce by including, in keeping with tradition, an investment for peace, but also for solidarity with the most disadvantaged people on this continent we share.

May this great moment of solidarity be a promise of fraternity and may it foster peace around the world.