Item 1348 - Speaking Notes Accord Dinner Lord Charles Hotel

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ZA COM MR-S-1348


Speaking Notes Accord Dinner Lord Charles Hotel


  • 1997-03-23 (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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Accord Dinner

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  • English

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Mr Chairman
Distinguished Guests
Comrades, Friends
Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are not here tonight in any formal capacity. Nor to impose speeches upon friends. It is a great privilege to be able to attend an occasion like this as an informal guest. We revel in the luxury of being here as the partner who was accorded the honour of accompanying one of your esteemed Trustees.

In fact, I only rise to speak here tonight "because of the temptation to try and get even with that Trustee of yours who, on a recent overseas visit which I undertook as Head of State, managed to outshine me on every occasion that we appeared together on that trip. I know I will not be able to outshine your Trustee tonight, but please allow me an attempt at it!

Having been kept informed of the work of ACCORD, and having listened to what was being put forward here tonight, I only want to say to ACCORD how much their efforts are being appreciated.

In the first place: not in South Africa, not on our continent, not anywhere in the world, can we ever think about building societies free from avoidable conflict and hardship, without the central involvement of institutions of civil society. ACCORD has a proven record of playing a key role as a civil society organ in South Africa, the Southern African region, on the African continent, and even further afield to assist in addressing and resolving situations of conflict.

In the second place: your efforts at promoting preventative diplomacy could not have been more timeous. The major challenge facing us if we wish to make of the next century one in which Africa takes her real place in the world, will be to rid our continent from expending most of its energy on conflict while development takes a second place. To do that, we have to focus on anticipating and preventing destructive conflict. Resources and human energy can be conserved, while currently we spend so much on peace-keeping and attempting to resolve established conflicts.

Finally: your commitment to promoting African efforts at addressing and resolving African conflicts can only deserve our fullest and active encouragement. Our own views on this matter are well-known. We are not in any way denying the importance of international input into all matters affecting any part of the world. What we are saying, is that it is the right of the people and the leaders of a particular country and region to take the lead in setting the agenda for resolving conflicts in which they are the central parties. And that we must establish a world order in which multilateralism is truly respected and promoted.

Thank you for having tolerated my intrusion into your proceedings tonight. And for the opportunity to relax with you. We wish ACCORD well in its very commendable endeavours. Two of your Trustees - the one who honoured me by allowing me to be her companion to this delightful dinner, and the other my Director-General - constantly impress upon me the sterling work ACCORD is doing. What I heard and observed here tonight, convinced me that they were not making any idle claims. You are indeed important agents for a future of peace and prosperity on our continent.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 27/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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