Mandela receives Newsmaker of the Decade Award

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela received the Newsmaker of the Decade Award on Wednesday night and used the occasion to plea for world peace.
"We must ask again that in the fight against terrorism (let) the United Nations play that key role as the legitimate institution representing our common desire for a better and peaceful world," he told the Johannesburg Press Club which presented him with the award.
He also said that South Africa had made a concrete contribution to the African renaissance by assisting with the peace process in Burundi.
Mandela was appointed as mediator in the peace process, after being nominated by six African heads of States who expressed confidence that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate would help secure a breakthrough in the conflict which has claimed an estimated 150,000 lives since 1993.
The installation of a transitional government in Burundi, agreed to by the 19 parties involved in the peace negotiations, is expected Thursday in Bujumbura.
"The road ahead is still fraught with many dangers but there can be no gainsaying that the transitional government represents a major achievement by the Burundi leadership.
They have thereby made a major contribution to peace in Africa," Mandela noted.
He received the Newsmaker of the Decade Award for his extraordinary successes in assisting with South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy.
He was also commended for the manner in which he served as the country's first democratically elected President and for his role in helping to resolve conflicts around the world when he left office.
Among other successes, the Nobel laureate was instrumental in ending the stand-off between Libya and Western nations over the surrender of two Libyans suspected in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jetliner.
Mandela, 83, has also tirelessly pursued persuading the private sector to finance rural development and regularly escorts business leaders to the remotest areas of South Africa to meet the poor and underprivileged.

01 november 2001 09:20:00

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