Thomas Bach delivered a lengthy address ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Peruvian counterpart Pedro Pablo Kuczynski each claimed sport can still be a force for good in troubled times during the Opening Ceremony of the 131st IOC Session here.

Bach spoke for more than 31 minutes in an address which attempted to highlight many of the key themes of his first four-years as President.

It included 15 mentions of his own Agenda 2020 reform process.

He began by announcing how we are living in a "world of crises, mistrust and uncertainty" before identifying a "worrying trend towards isolationism on many levels".

"These trends are a call to action for us. More than ever, the world needs our Olympic Values of peace, respect and understanding," Bach told an audience including delegations from Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 on the eve of them being confirmed as Olympic host cities. 

Current regional tensions in East Asia with five months to go before next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang were cited as an example.

"As we all know, these Olympic Winter Games are taking place under difficult political circumstances.," 

“We are in contact with Governments and the NOCs (National Olympic Commitees) concerned.

"In all the conversations we had, the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 were never put in doubt.

"On the contrary, we could feel support for our position."

Thomas Bach, left, alongside Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski ©Getty Images
Thomas Bach, left, alongside Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski ©Getty Images

Bach added: "This position is very clear:  the Olympic Games must be beyond all the political tensions; the Olympic Games must not be a tool for political manoeuvring; the Olympic Games should be seen as a stage for dialogue; the Olympic Games are a symbol of hope and for peace.

"Speaking now about different scenarios for the Olympic Winter Games would send the wrong message.

"It would be a message against our own belief in peace and diplomacy.

"It would undermine the efforts of those who are working towards a diplomatic solution so that peace will prevail on the Korean Peninsula."

Kuczynski, meanwhile, spoke positively about the impact of Lima's hosting of the 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games despite political and economic challenges.

"We will have the Pan American Games here in two years and many people said to us, as a young Government, why are we spending money on this," he said.

"I thought it was really important to push everything sport represents - team spirit, peace, cooperations, ethics.

"All the doomsayers who said they would wipe us out financially are wrong.

"Our credit rating actually went up when we announced the Games."