Item 1232 - Remarks by President Nelson Mandela at the Luncheon for Heads of State

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ZA COM MR-S-1232


Remarks by President Nelson Mandela at the Luncheon for Heads of State


  • 1994-10-03 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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  • English

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It is with great humility that I accept the honour to toast the Secretary-General on your behalf. I have the responsibility of doing so at this historic moment, as our Organisation, the United Nations, approaches its half- century fired by a new enthusiasm occasioned by the challenges of a changing world. Naturally, the new epoch in which we live calls for introspection, and it does generate new ideas about how the Organisation can be reformed to meet ever new challenges.

Mr. Secretary-General.

A week ago, at a similar occasion, you spoke eloquently about the new meaning of three concepts: peace, democracy and development. We, in South Africa, have noticed that the relationship between these concepts has been a consistent theme in your approach to guiding the work of the United Nations.

The search for peace between States has, throughout this century, called for an effective collective security system. Thus, the United Nations was born to forge swords into plough-shares. In our search, innovative approaches were developed.

You have, Mr. Secretary-General, accurately and timeously identified the need for preventive diplomacy. Conflict within States, proliferating across the globe, demand new and imaginative responses. Regional mechanisms, backed by the United Nations, can apply collective resources and experiences in resolving and preventing such conflict. Recently, in our own region, Southern Africa, we have seen this approach successfully put into practice in helping to resolve the crisis in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The damage caused by conflict dislocates and has a long-term harmful impact on development within the States and regions concerned. Addressing the resultant additional burdens consumes already scarce resources.

Humanity is at one on the nexus between peace, democracy and development. In our case, the elimination of the apartheid crime against humanity has made peace and democracy a reality. But these attributes can be sustained in any meaningful way, only by reconstructing and developing our country to benefit all its citizens.

There is increasing recognition of the ineluctable linkage between security and the human condition. No one can deny that the world has yet to lay to rest the terrifying threat of nuclear annihilation. Nevertheless, security is correctly taking on a broader connotation, including, in particular, human well-being, freedom from want and sustainable development.

That is a challenge that we, in South Africa, in our own way, are confronting. It is a challenge that all of us in the developing world have in common. It is a challenge that the United Nations will have to address in earnest in its second half-century.
We are confident that under the leadership of Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, our organisation will rise to the challenge of this new era.

Your Excellencies.

Please join me in a toast to the Secretary-General, to the United Nations and to a new vision of this august body.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 21/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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