Item 932 - Speech By Nelson Mandela, delivered by Nandi Mandela at the Rotary District 3830 Annual Conference in Manila, Philippines on 27 March 2004

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Speech By Nelson Mandela, delivered by Nandi Mandela at the Rotary District 3830 Annual Conference in Manila, Philippines on 27 March 2004


  • 2004-03-27 (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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Rotary District 3830 Annual Conferece ; Presented by Mandela's grand-daughter

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  • English

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District Governor Jose L Cortes, Jr;
Past Director Sabino Santos, representative of Rotary International President Jonathan Majiyagbe;

Mr Michael Yam, honoured conference guest;

Distinguished Rotarians and Guests;

Ladies and gentlemen

Graca and I send our warm greetings to all the delegates and participants of this annual conference in Rotary District 3830, Philippines. I am honoured to convey to you a message of peace and to wish you well in your conference and your future work.

I regret that I cannot deliver my address in person. I thank you for warmly receiving my beloved granddaughter, Nandi, who will be representing me at your conference.

Partnership is crucial to the all-important area of national development. That includes the various sectors of citizenry and government co-operating to pursue growth for the country. It needs strong political will and leadership to attain far-reaching results and develop a country into a thriving market. We in South Africa have experienced just how important partnerships are.

Ladies and gentlemen, what is happening in South Africa is true for the Philippines too.

The Filipinos are a vibrant and resilient people with a rich cultural heritage. You have the enormous advantage of being guided by a very capable and committed leader. One who is very experienced and who has made immense contributions to your country in instituting various political and economic reforms. I refer to your President, Her Excellency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

So it is with Rotary. A partnership with Rotary and the people and its government will help develop a nation to be thriving. The great contributions of Rotary to the global community confirm the supreme relevance of this organization to the resolution of major problems that face humanity. Rotary represents the aspirations of a diverse spectrum of the community. The value of its contributions to a turbulent world is unquestionable.

We have so much to Rotary for. Its good work has improved the lives of so many people around the world. South Africa alone has been the recipient of so many projects that has contributed to developmental projects in our country.

We are grateful to have this opportunity to thank Rotary for its enduring and unfaltering support for development in various African nations.

Rotary has helped to change the lives of people in the world, especially the poorest of the poor, and has become an indispensable partner in the development.

I am also aware of the intense commitment of the Rotarians in improving the lives of the poorest of the poor in the Philippines, and I congratulate you all for this. I commend all of you for committing yourselves to building a global partnership to serve people and for your determination to change society for the better. I hope that this determination will also challenge enlightened government leaders to turn their words into deeds, enforce the laws and enact policies that provide a better life for the people.

But I must remind also that as Rotarians, they should be innovators in the business world where they can put their unique abilities to serve mankind. Share profits, share talent, share advertising space - all in the name of Rotary service.

Be there to call upon leaders in the academe, the media and other sectors to ensure that the obligation to the less-privileged, more importantly the sick, the children, the poor, the elderly, and the homeless, are respected. Be ever vigilant and hold government accountable in the struggle for peace and justice. Do not let up for a moment for there is no circumstances in which the neglect or abuse of the poor can ever be tolerated.

As Rotary International President Jonathan Majiyagbe, a fellow African, has said: Rotarians must Lend a Hand and act together in international cooperation, as well as in their respective countries, to enhance health, literacy, promote growth and development of the communities, and more importantly, to work toward strengthening the role and status of women and mount a global attack on poverty.

In this world, in which we have the means to cure many of the diseases that only a decade ago were considered lethal, surely, Rotarians will be able to provide the resources against killer diseases. In this world of such abundance, surely Rotarians can find the means to assure that no child will go hungry, no pregnant woman will be too weak to survive childbirth, and that every one of the nearly 6 million children who will die next year because of malnutrition will be saved.

In a world that so often shows apathy, open your arms for the millions of hungry and homeless people.

Government remains the primary actor in addressing the basic needs of its society - and indeed in playing the leading role in all development cooperation while involving the poor and the young themselves as full participants.

But now amid growing economic interdependence among nations, we see a new global reality with additional partners in development including non-governmental organizations like Rotary, grassroots groups, private enterprise, the business community, and other diverse elements of civil society.

They possess the knowledge and the resources to make a difference. Thus, Rotary’s involvement in a global partnership to serve mankind is not only desirable - it is vital.

I thank Rotary for its services to mankind. It has become an effective partner in the development of nations.

Graca and I hope that there will continue to be people acting as catalysts in helping persuade leaders of government and civil society at every level to recognize that if we want a more just, equitable and thriving world, we need to uplift the quality of life of every person.

This must also include efforts that take full account of the immense peril that HIV/AIDS and armed conflict pose to every aspect of human survival – and the recognition that global poverty which has already consigned some 3 billion people to living on less than $2 a day – half of them children – is not only a moral outrage, but a profound political and economic threat to the whole world. The knowledge, and resources and the strategies all exist to make this a better world for all – and Graca and I are convinced that if we all help each other, if we all Lend a Hand, we can build a truly global alliance to bring it about.

To District Governor Jun Cortes, and to the Rotarians of the Philippines, you have our best wishes and support.

I am truly humbled for having been afforded your kind attention.

I thank you.

Mr N R Mandela

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 10/10/07 by Razia Saleh; Adam Kaloides




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