Item 1501 - ANC conference notes December 2002

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ZA COM MR-S-1501

Title

ANC conference notes December 2002

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  • 2002-12-20 (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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ANC's 51st National Conference

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPT

Just as we seek to promote democracy within our organisation, our country and on our continent, we look towards the establishment, spread and consolidation of democratic principles and practices in international affairs.

We do so, for example, with regards to globalisation. Our country, with the ANC led government at the helm, takes it place in the global economy and world order. Globalisation is an inescapable fact of our modern world and it has brought in its wake many real and potential benefits for all of mankind. There is no way that we can, or desire to, return to closed societies and economies.

We are at the same time champions of the cause that the international bodies and agencies involved in the management and running of global affairs should be so restructured and should operate in manners that allow democratic equality amongst nations and regions. The poorer and less powerful should not be at the mercy of the wealthy and the powerful; and the benefits of globalisation should not unilaterally flow to the rich and powerful only or mostly. The poorer countries and people of the world should equally be beneficiaries, not victims, of the processes of globalisation.

In world bodies, and particularly the United Nations, we shall insist that the principles of multilateralism and equality amongst nations and regions be respected and practised at all times. The long term peace and security of our world depend upon scrupulous adherence to the founding principles of the United Nations.

Recently we have again seen too much of the rise of unilateralism in world affairs. And one must not be dishonest and evade the real issue, viz. that the United States of America (with the United Kingdom in tow) has tended to dangerously disregard the principles of multilateral world governance.

We regard ourselves as close friends of the United States, as we are of all free and democratic countries of the world. We have strong personal bonds with the leaders of the United States including particularly President George W Bush.

This does not, however, mean that we should not be critical, and at times severely critical, of the actions and approaches of the United States where we regard those to be contrary to the principles of good governance in international affairs.

The conduct of the United States and the Bush administration with regards to the current Iraq issue is a case in point.

We have communicated our views in private to the President and his advisors and we have stated our position in public.

We were extremely worried about the dangers of the United States signalling serious disregard for the Security Council and for the United Nations. The eventual abiding with the wish that action in or against Iraq be governed by a Security Council resolution was a welcome relief. But in even that, the world could not escape the clear impression that the USA were going along with a process but that it remained intent on military action against Iraq at all costs.

We sincerely hope that we are wrong and that unilateral action will be avoided and that the authority of the Security Council will be scrupulously respected.

What appears to be arrogant conduct when the US reportedly grabbed the Iraqi weapons report, gives further cause for concern. We would want to urgently appeal to the US and its leadership to demonstrate their strength in the world by respect in international affairs for those democratic principles they hold dear in their domestic affairs. They were founders of the United Nations and flagrant disregard for the UN will go against the wishes and intentions of those founding fathers.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation. Accessioned on 12/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata

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