Item 1235 - President Mandela's Response to a toast at the State Banquet

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ZA COM MR-S-1235


President Mandela's Response to a toast at the State Banquet


  • 1994-10-04 (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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As we break bread together within the venerable confines of this famous symbol of democracy, we are reminded of that which binds us, particularly, the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality. For it is upon the basis of these values that the bond between our two countries - at last embraced as free nations - can become an enduring partnership.

Democracy and justice are ideals we, in South Africa, have cherished over the years. As in your country, many suffered and sacrificed as we traversed the long road to their attainment. Though in its infancy in our country, the system of democracy is today a reality that we derive pride from, an achievement we are determined to protect like the apple of our eye. As we strive to make it a living reality for all our citizens, we will not hesitate to learn, as we have done in the past, from what has been achieved in your country and other parts of the world.

The United States and its people played a significant role in the struggle against apartheid and all that it stood for. We salute you for taking our concerns as your own. We thank you for your support then and for your commitment now to our newly-achieved democracy and to the reconstruction and development of our country.

In as much as our two nations were in unique partnership to end apartheid, today we are striking out along a new road to build an abiding relationship aimed at improving the people's quality of life. The discussions we held this morning and the many other engagements during the course of our visit are bound to firm up the foundations of this unique partnership.

Our world faces many urgent challenges - deprivation, conflict, ignorance, environmental degradation, hunger and disease - some on an unprecedented scale. But the new determination to tackle these issues jointly constitutes a silver lining which demonstrates humanity's capacity to find just and lasting solutions to its problems.

It is our heart-felt desire that the bond based on common interests between our two nations will grow ever more diverse and stronger. Among the most pressing issues in this regard is to consolidate co-operation in pursuit of stronger economic ties, advancement of human rights and preservation of the environment.

Mr President.

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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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