UN chief Ban Ki-moon to join Olympic torch relay in Rio

UN chief Ban Ki-moon to join Olympic torch relay in Rio

Seoul, Aug 3 (IANS) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be one of the torch bearers for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday said Ban will fly to the host city of the 31st Olympics on Wednesday night and will carry the torch during the relay on Friday, the opening day of the Rio Games, reports Yonhap.

Ban previously carried the Olympic torch at the 2012 Games in London, England, and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Dujarric said Ban will attend the opening ceremony of the Rio Games and inspect the Olympic athletes’ village.

The 72-year-old South Korean will also meet athletes, including those with the first Refugee Olympic team.

The 10-member team is made up of refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Congo and Ethiopia, who have fled war and violence in their countries. They will compete in the Summer Games under the Olympic flag.

Ban is also scheduled to meet with Brazil’s acting President Michel Temer on Friday night.

Last week, Ban called for an Olympic truce and proposed all conflicting parties to stop their wars starting July 30, a week before the Rio Games open, to September 25, seven days after the Rio Paralympics.

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