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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China, at the 56th Session of the UNGA on "Building a Peaceful and Better World through Sport and the Olympic Ideal" (Item 23) (11/12/01)
Mr. President,

The Olympic spirit, initiated more than two thousand years ago, is a distillation of humanity's effort to seek self development and fulfillment.  Over this long period of time, the Olympic ideal has developed gradually into a symbol of mankind's aspiration for and pursuit of a peaceful and better world, encouraging us to overcome difficulties and achieve progress after progress.  

Despite the two tragic World Wars, people's aspiration for peace and their pursuit of the Olympic ideal have never wavered ever since Mr. Pierre de Coubertin initiated the modern Olympic games at the end of the 19th century.  The establishment of the United Nations as well as the purposes and principles of its Charter and the efforts it has since made for world peace and common economic development have also contributed in no small ways to promoting the development of the Olympic games.  Today, mankind has already stepped into the 21st century.  Countries in the world should continue to stick to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promote the Olympic spirit vigorously, seek peaceful solutions of international disputes and regional conflicts, enhance understanding and friendship among civilizations through dialogue and exchange, and work for the continuous global social and economic development through cooperation.  East or west, north or south, the common aspiration of people all over the world today is that the 21st century would be a new century marking human development and progress.

Mr. President,
The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th have constituted a fundamental violation of the Olympic ideal as well as a serious challenge to human civilization.  The international community should strengthen its cooperation against terrorism, combat terrorism in all forms and strive to eradicate its roots.  

Mr. President,
The 19th Winter Olympic Games will be held at Salt Lake City in the United States in February next year.  The host country and the International Olympic Committee have done a lot of careful and thoughtful preparatory work in this regard.  We hope that the international community can work together to ensure that it will be a complete success.

On July 13th this year, the city of Beijing won the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.  The world has seen the love and respect of a rising ancient Oriental civilization for the Olympic spirit and its aspiration for and pursuit of world peace, friendship and development.  We would like to extend once again our heart-felt gratitude to friends from all countries as well as the IOC that have supported us in this effort.  We believe that holding an Olympic games in China, a country with a history of five thousand years, will not only represent the full recognition by the world of China's great achievements since it adopted the reform and opening-up policy but also offer a good opportunity for exchange between Oriental and Occidental civilizations.  China will prove with real action that Beijing will give the world an outstanding Olympic games.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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