Statement by President Faure at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit 2018, United Nations General Assembly

24 September 2018 |

Your Excellency, President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly, Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa, 
Your Excellency, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen, 

This year, a true son of Africa and a giant of history, would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Today we have come together to commemorate the memory of a man who stood for social justice and universal peace, whilst also acknowledging his enduring legacy.

When Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was growing up in a small village named Qunu 100 years ago, there was no reason to think he would change the course of history. But through his sacrifice, leadership, and most importantly, his belief in the human spirit and its infinite capacity for good, he set an example to the world. 

It is not enough that we preach the great ideals for which he stood and practise the opposite. We have an unprecedented opportunity as leaders to ensure that we govern with the philosophies of peace and equitable progress he championed. Today, I renew my commitment to living by the ideals of the late Nelson Mandela and ensuring that his message of equality, democracy, dignity, and goodness lives on through the people I have been entrusted to serve.  

I also believe that to fully achieve Madiba’s vision for the world, the state of our planet, our only home, must be protected at all costs. If we fail to take responsibility for our actions and the impact that we are having on our environment, we run the grave risk of condemning our children to a fate which he struggled during his lifetime to abolish.    

Madame President,  

A common thread unifies all our people – a longing for peace, prosperity and an equitable future. We must work hard to ensure that this becomes a reality. Nelson Mandela said, “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” We must live and lead by this truism. Only then would we have fulfilled his legacy.

As I conclude, I wish to join Seychelles to the values and principles of the Nelson Mandela Political Declaration that we adopt today. 

I thank you.

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