Item 1254 - Statement by President Nelson Mandela in the International Video Conference to Launch the 9th UNCTAD Conference

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ZA COM MR-S-1254


Statement by President Nelson Mandela in the International Video Conference to Launch the 9th UNCTAD Conference


  • 1995-09-18 (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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Launch of the 9th UNCTAD Conference

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  • English

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It is my privilege and honour this morning to welcome you, the members of the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development. For us in South Africa , it is certainly a great joy to be able to be your host. Your presence amongst us is a further reminder that we have taken our place among the family of nations. And, as we remind ourselves that it was you who played such a vital role in the liberation of all South Africans, we undertake to repay you with much kindness during your stay with us.

This conference will be dealing with issues which will affect the whole world, but in particular the developing nations of the African continent. It is my hope that just as technology is bringing us together now, the conference will do the same for the family of nations. I hope in particular that the wealthy developed countries will join hands with the poorer developing countries of the Third World.

It is precisely because South Africa itself has its own wide disparities of wealth and poverty, that we are committed to working as full and equal partners in the pursuit of sustained economic growth and balanced development in Southern Africa and in Africa as a whole.

A framework of co-operation and development integration is especially important if we are to realise the promise of Africa's rebirth and forestall her economic marginalisation.

This has been promoted by the liberation of South Africa from apartheid, and by the international community's acceptance of democratic South Africa. I have been privileged to experience personally the warmth and hospitality with which the government's and peoples of the world have embraced our nation. But we do understand that such generous good-will has to be combined with hard work by ourselves. In South Africa, as in our region and our continent, our captains of industry, as well as our politicians are rising to the challenge of showing the world that we can offer abundant opportunities for international trade and development.

We want you to see our potential for yourselves. And we want our own business to see that there is nothing stopping them from becoming global players. There is no reason why our economies should not match the successful emerging economies elsewhere in the world.

We would like to see more dialogue on world trade. This will help to ensure that the poor countries are not discriminated against. We believe it is a basic right for countries, as it is for people, to have equal opportunities when it comes to doing business. It is my hope that the discussions that will take place both formally and informally at this conference will be sensitive to this issue.

It is now your task, Tokyo, as host of this most significant and important conference, to convince delegates that what we have in store for them is something that they will remember with appreciation for many years to come.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 22/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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