UN secretary-general to deliver Mandela lecture

Johannesburg – The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced that UN secretary-general António Guterres will deliver the 18th Nelson Mandela annual lecture on 18 July this year.

  This year’s lecture will be the first to be hosted virtually, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  In a statement the foundation said the theme for the lecture, Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new Social Contract for a New Era, focuses on current inequalities that have come under sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It will look ahead to what we must do to address the world’s fragilities and build a fair globalisation. The annual lecture invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues.”

  Previous speakers include Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, former US president Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former president Thabo Mbeki.

  Guterres, who took office in January 2017, is the ninth UN secretary-general.

  “Whether working as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, or representing his constituency in the Portuguese parliament, and from his years as Prime Minister to his service as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Guterres has sought to ease suffering, protect the vulnerable and ensure human rights for all. These priorities remain at the core of his efforts as UN secretary-general,” the foundation said.

  The lecture will be streamed live from the foundation’s Johannesburg headquarters and the UN in New York.

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