These are reflections following the delivery of the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, by the Nelson Mandela Foundation's commentators and on social media.
Nelson Mandela Foundation commentators
Co-founder of The Mbegu Platform
[UN Secretary-General António Guterres] has shared some progressive views. I hope we can see some action on them now. We are watching and organising! I have had a great time engaging with you all on this unique virtual experience. Power and strength!
Journalist, gender rights activist, Ruth First Fellow
I sincerely hope that Secretary-General António Guterres will be able to use his influence and position to begin to create the change he spoke so honestly and passionately about today. We all deserve a more just world and the unencumbered pursuit of happiness.
These dialogues and critical analysis are most crucial. We cannot, and must not, be indifferent to discourse of public affairs.
University lecturer, author
Thanks everyone, and thank you to the SG for his honest and open commentary. Being honest to us as the public is one thing, but I hope you have the courage and fortitude to be honest with global leaders behind closed doors. Dreams and hopes are just not enough any more; their currency is worthless.
So hopefully, you can facilitate some real change.
Lawyer, governance specialist and columnist
“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” – John Lewis
Development economist, broadcaster, activist
When we talk about building from below, how do we do so without the paternalism of party, fraternity, Big Man and “politics”? Block by block, issue by issue, connected to a bigger global aspiration. That’s what I find useful in Guterres' remarks. That the issues coalesce around a “global agenda”. We now have to win our victories at a concrete level rather than at an amorphous “global” level.
Social media commentators