Mandela makes his presence felt at WCAR

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- Nelson Mandela, the man whose name became synonymous with human rights, may not be attending the World Conference Against Racism, but he has certainly made his presence felt.
South Africa's first democratically elected President is unable to attend the global event because of the treatment he is receiving for cancer, but on Saturday he addressed heads of state and delegates via a live satellite transmission from his Johannesburg home.
Describing apartheid as a disease and racism as a tragedy, Mandela said to conquer racism, a treatment must be administered that is comprehensive and holistic.
The Nobel Laureate told delegates that they were carrying the hopes of millions of people on their shoulders as they fought to end racism.
"Racism is an ailment of the mind and the soul.
It kills many more than any contagion; it dehumanises anyone it touches.
The tragedy is that a cure is within our reach, yet we have not seized it".
He said the conference should be remembered as the one in which peoples from around the world undertook to cherish and value diversity, and to understand that to deny the humanity of "the other" was to deny oneself.
"Let this be a time for healing old wounds.
Let this be a time to reach out to each other across the real or imaginary divides.
"Let this be a time to build a true spirit of solidarity in support of human dignity," Mandela added.

01 september 2001 14:15:00




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