Item 1414 - Mosaic Foundation lunch in Washington

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ZA COM MR-S-1414


Mosaic Foundation lunch in Washington


  • 2001-11-14 (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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The Mosaic Foundation is an American charitable and educational organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children, and to increasing awareness and understanding about the peoples of the Arab World in the United States.

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Thank you once more for feeding me. I had occasion last night to commend my hosts for having the thought that an old pensioner may from time to time be in need of a good meal. It is clear to me that the people here in the American capital are generally alert to that fact - hence this lovely lunch to follow last night's dinner.

Thank you very much for that, and for the delectable company I was privileged to share this afternoon. The important people I could rub shoulders with almost created with me the illusion that I may still be of some importance to some people!

It is good to be in the United States again and to renew acquaintances with so many people who had been friends and supporters over many years and in different ways.

But it is, in the first place, for us an opportunity to express in person our deep-felt sympathies and condolences to the people of America at the terrible events of 11 September, and of course the tragic accident of Monday.

We think especially of those who lost relatives, friends and loved ones. And we think of an entire nation that is visibly still in mourning at the horrendousness of those events.

We wrote to President Bush immediately after 11 September expressing those sentiments. But we appreciate that we can now be here in person to convey our feelings to the people of America.

I have publicly expressed my support to President Bush and the U S Administration in pursuing with all means those that have been identified as the perpetrators of those heinous crimes. We accept the word of the United States and Britain that they are bent on bringing to book the identified terrorists and that the unfortunate civilian casualties that arise are coincidental. We accept that they will and are taking all precautions possible within a war situation to minimise civilian casualties and suffering.

To say that there are longer term and wider issues that need to be addressed in the battle against terrorism, is not to detract from the immediate task of the United States and Britain to bring the perpetrators to book. We reiterate our support for that mission.

It is at the same time for all of us to unite in addressing also those longer-term issues.

I have, for example, made clear my conviction that the situation in the Middle East needs the immediate, concerted and collective attention of leading role players such as the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, the development needs of the non-industrialised world should be made the concern of us all collectively. It is in addressing the conditions of the poor and disadvantaged, who are in the vast majority on the planet, that we will be contributing to eliminating the conditions in which discontent festers and terrorism finds fertile breeding ground.

The efforts to find and establish peace in conflict-ridden parts of the world also requires material assistance, and once more the world should approach those situations as being the concern of all of us.

We have, for example, been involved in the peace process in Burundi, a small country in the Great Lakes region of Africa. That process itself was heavily dependent upon the financial and material support of the international donor community. The peace-keeping that now follows in order to give effect to the political agreement is not possible without funding from the international community. And even more basic to the long-term attainment of peace is the development of the social and economic infrastructure of that country; without massive international involvement through donor money, trade and investment such development is not possible.

Many of those present here today have already contributed in various ways to development in the poorer parts of the world. Our appeal is for those efforts to continue and to be redoubled in a global partnership to eradicate poverty and deprivation.

Africa particularly needs such support and assistance as it seeks through the efforts of a new generation of leaders to regenerate itself.

Our own country, South Africa, and the Southern African region look to our friends in the international community to enter into such partnerships with us. We need foreign investment, preferably direct investment that could create jobs and opportunities for our people; we need trade; and we need developmental assistance to address some of the urgent social issues, most important of which is the terrible scourge of HIV/AIDS.

Let me, however, not abuse your hospitality by talking too much. I have confidence that leading people over the world, and particularly in this leading country of the world, are increasingly responding to the challenges of our global and common responsibility for the world.

Thank you for the lunch and for the company.

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 02/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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