SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on warring parties worldwide to take a break during the Winter Olympics.
Ban said Friday the games should be an example to people engaged in armed conflicts around the world, and urged them to observe a so-called Olympic truce while they are under way.
"The participants in the Sochi Games may carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality, fair play, mutual respect and non-discrimination," Ban said in a written statement. "I encourage all those involved in the games -- governments, groups, organizations and individuals -- to uphold and defend these core Olympic ideals."
The United Nations said the truce would be in effect a week prior to the Sochi games and run through the end of the Paralympic Winter Games in March.
Ban's statement came three days after U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe issued an appeal to uphold the truce.