Item 1531 - Address by HE Dr Vincent Zulu, on behalf of Former President Nelson Mandela during the Global Conference on Peace through Tourism

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ZA COM MR-S-1531


Address by HE Dr Vincent Zulu, on behalf of Former President Nelson Mandela during the Global Conference on Peace through Tourism


  • 2000-11-09 (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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Global Conference on Peace through Tourism

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  • English

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Speech is read by Vincent Zulu on behalf of Nelson Mandela

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It is a great honour to be able to participate in this important effort at the promotion of peace and to share the occasion with such esteemed luminaries - men and women who in their lives have made decisive contributions to peace.
That this is the United Nation's Year for the Culture of Peace and this Summit takes place in support of that UN effort lends even greater moment to the occasion. Our view on the centrality of the world body and its organs for bringing about and keeping peace in the world is widely known and documented. It is therefore for me a very special privilege and honour to appear here in support of those efforts.

That we meet here in Amman, an important capital of the Middle East, to discuss the promotion of peace, is very significant right at this moment. Nowhere can the urgent need for lasting and just peace be more forcefully demonstrated than currently in this region. It is fitting and appropriate that this Summit takes place here now. The political and security situation in the immediate environs of this meeting may spur us on to renewed and redoubled commitment to the search for peace.

Conflict, violence, warfare and instability still plague too many parts of our world. The suffering inflicted, and more often than not on the most vulnerable sectors of society, demeans all of us as humanity. That it is invariably women, children, the aged and disabled who suffer in these conflicts stands to the added shame of humankind.

Where these conditions of destructive conflict reign, the opportunities for development diminish. The infrastructure for serving the people and developing the economy is being destroyed or put under severe strain. Resources that should have gone to health care, education, housing and a general improvement of the lives of the citizenry are being wasted and squandered.

The responsibility for achieving peace is in the first place upon those who are in positions of leadership in any of the conflict situations. It is to our eternal disgrace that so many people who call themselves leaders sacrifice the well-being of their people - something that should be of primary concern to them - in pursuit of selfish power, no matter how well those motives may be rationalised.

The international, continental and regional bodies are key players in bringing sanity and soberness to these conflicts and persuading the conflicting parties to seek compromise and peace. Ultimately, though, it is incumbent upon those in positions of influence and power in those countries to achieve peace.

Yet, we may never sit back and wait for universal peace to break out, as it were. We must continue to find institutional means to consolidate peace where it occurs, and fortunately in spite of the serious concerns we expressed above, most parts of the world experience relative peace. We must find the means to create a universal climate and mindset of peace. In that way we shall also be influencing those situations where there is no peace.

The idea of tourism as a global peace industry is one such exciting initiative. There was a time in human history that warfare and conquest were the major means of expanding human contact. Conflict, subjugation and exploitation accompanied explorations of the unknown. In our modern world that is no longer predominantly the case and human beings can and do reach out to each other across boundaries and distances in pursuit of greater mutual understanding and friendship.

In that regard tourism has become the major vehicle for the promotion of transnational acquaintance, understanding and ultimately friendship. Ignorance of the other, their customs and cultures provides fertile ground for prejudice and animosity. Exposure to the other opens the mind to diversity and the healthiness of difference.

We so often speak of globalisation with reference only to the opening of markets, the removal of trade barriers and the free flow of goods and finances. The free flow of people and ideas, the unfettered exposure of different cultures and customs to each, other should be an equally important aspect of the globalised world, of the global village we so often refer to. Tourism has become the primary vehicle for the promotion of such exchange. In the process, peace and harmony amongst people and nations are served.

In Southern Africa, for example, we have, as I know you have done in this region as well, embarked on the project of constructing trans-frontier peace parks. Here the concept of tourism as industry and tourism as a promoter of peace meet each other. There are certainly many other such initiatives where tourism can be directly of service to peace promotion. The general point, though, is that the overall vehicle of bringing people from different countries, regions, backgrounds and cultures into contact with different ones ultimately serve the promotion of understanding, friendship and peace.

I trust that this Summit will go a long way to advancing tourism as such a global peace industry. And I thank you again for inviting me to share in this occasion. Wherever we can find ways to advance the culture of peace, let us not be found wanting.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation. Accessioned on 03/03/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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