Home » Nelson Mandel Speech from Johannesberg
- South Africa
Nelson Mandela at Live 8 Joberg
July 2, 2005 former South African President Nelson Mandela urged world
leaders to fight poverty to prevent "a genocide of humanity".
He delivered this speech to a crowd of over 8,000 in Mary Fitzgerald Square
in the heart of Newtown.
note that this speech is similar to a speech that Neslon Mandela gave
in February 2005 in Trafalgar Square with some minor changes to address
the Live 8 crowd and the upcoming G8 summit meeting in Scotland.
speech listed below was obtained listening to the Live 8 concert and transcribing
line-by-line each word that Nelson Mandela said.
I am pleased to be here today to support Africa steady toll against poverty
in concert with Live 8. As you know, I formally announced my retirement.
From public lifer and should really not be here. However, as long as poverty,
injustice and gross inequality persist in this world, none of us can truly
rest. We shall never forget how millions of people around the world joined
us in solidarity to fight the injustice of our oppression while we were
Those efforts paid off and we are able to stand here and join the millions
around the world in support of freedom against poverty. Massive poverty
and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our time; times in
which the world are both breathtaking advances in science, technology,
industry and wealth accumulation. We live in a world where knowledge and
information have made enormous strides yet millions of children are not
We live in a world where the aids pandemic threatens the very fabric of
our life. Yet we spend more money on weapons than of the support for the
millions infected by HIV. It is a world of great promise and hope. It
is also a world of despair, disease and hunger. Overcoming poverty is
not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice. It is the protection
of a fundamental right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While
poverty exists there is no true freedom.
The steps that are needed from the developing nations are clear. The first
ensuring trade justice. I have said before that trade justice is a truly
meaningful way for the developed countries to show commitment of brining
about an end to global poverty. The second is an end to debt crisis to
the poor countries. The third is to deliver much more aid and make sure
that it is of the highest quality.
In a few days time the leaders of the G8 nations will meet in Scotland.
They will face perhaps the most critical questions that our world has
had to face. How do we remove the face of poverty from our world? So much
of our common future will depend on the actions and plans of these leaders.
They have a historical opportunity to open the door to hope and the possibility
of a better future for all.
History and the generations to come will judge our leaders by the decisions
that they make in the coming weeks. I say to all those leaders, I say
to all those leaders…. Do not look the other way. It is easy to
make promises but never go to action.
We ask our leaders to demonstrate their commitment and not engage in hallow
promises. We want action. It is within your power to prevent genocide
against humanity. We stand tall and await your direction.
We thank you for coming here to day and we thank the millions of people
around the world support this effort. Today should not be the only time
we rally in support of eradication of poverty. This should be an ongoing
effort. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that
great generation. Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will
not be easy… but not to do this would be a crime against humanity,
a crime against which I ask all humanity now to all rise up. I thank you."