The Olympic Truce - flying the flag for peace at the 2012 Games
Peace, reconciliation and the 2012 Games - and why I'm going on a prayer walk through London
Dating back to the 9th century BC, an Olympic Games ‘Truce’ was created to enable athletes from Greece’s warring cities to travel and compete in safety. Reinstated at the 1992 Olympic Games, the initiative is being pushed harder than ever before at this year's Games.
Lord Michael Bates will be taking a seminar on the topic before leading a prayer walk from Parliament to the Olympic Stadium. With so many nations coming to the UK, it's absolutely right that peace and reconciliation is at the top of the agenda. You can find out more at www.walkfortruce.org.
You can also delve deeper into the initiative at Build the Truce, an interactive display – and part of the Cultural Olympiad – at the Imperial War Museum in London (from 24 May) and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester (from 15 July). This will be working with "eyewitnesses and educational and family groups across the country to investigate the concepts of truce, conflict and resolution and their relevance in the 21st century".
Highlights include extracts from interviews with a broad range of contributors such as Seanna Walsh, a former IRA prisoner, and Jackie McDonald, a former UDA prisoner, both now involved in Northern Irish peace initiatives and community peace-building; Courtny Edwards, who worked with a NGO health service in displaced persons’ camps following civil war in Sierra Leone; and Dr Tony Redmond OBE, who led aid teams in Kosovo following NATO attacks in 1999.
I'm looking forward to the prayer walk. And seeing the Olympic Stadium. Might take the Tube back though ... Watch out for a report back in about six weeks' time.