HIS EXCELLENCY, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
ARTHUR R.V. KHOZA DEPUTY
PRIME MINISTER OF THE KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND
AT THE WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATEDINTOLERANCE.
Sunday, 02 September 2001 Durban, Republic of South Africa.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
President of conference,
It is, indeed, an honour for me to address this World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on behalf of the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The Kingdom of Swaziland congratulates you Madam President on your election to the Presidency of this conference, which is a milestone in the history of humankind. We are especially proud and elated that your country, the Republic of South Africa, has been chosen to host the countries of the world out here in Durban.
As a neighbouring and sister country to South Africa, Swaziland-sandwiched between Mozambique and South Africa; and standing for years, prior to the independence of the two neighbouring countries, as an oasis of peace in a sea of - conflict-strife and wars - witnessed the atrocities, and shared in the suffering of the peoples of both countries - all caused by dehumanising apartheid, colonialism and ravaging wars. We congratulate all the people of South Africa on their commitment to establishing and maintaining peace through a process of negotiation and reconciliation.
Madam President, we in the Kingdom of Swaziland believe that whilst this
historic conference serves, in part, to remind us of the painful history of
the evils of slavery, colonialism, apartheid and human suffering, it is also
an opportunity to review the harsh effects of those evils and to take remedial
action. One of our categorical imperatives is that, with renewed determination
and commitment, we must - at this conference - adopt strategies through which
we can mould our present world into one where all people have the sense of belonging
- a world of equality as human beings and fraternity - yes, a world free from
all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Whilst the possibilities of global conflict seem to have diminished since the end of the cold war era, it is a fact that there has been a corresponding increase in incidences of internal conflicts and crossborder disturbances arising from a variety of causes, including ethnic and religious intolerance. Regrettably, such tensions continue causing massive loss of innocent lives and property; and hampering efforts aimed at economic and social development. Consequently, we must address the problems of ethnic conflicts including acts of genocide, religious confrontation as well as foreign occupation.
The issues we are discussing at this conference have a direct bearing on the promotion of sustainable peace and security for all humankind. Unfortunately, despite pious statements on commitment to peace in certain quarters, the greatest threat to peace lies in the continuing spread of weapons of war. This, in spite of the fact that proliferation of trade in arms of war seriously undermines all efforts towards peace building, tolerance and sustainable development.
It is also important to recognise that
(a) the world today is divided along the lines of economic capacities; and that this situation directly contradicts the principles and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations;
(b) the process of globalisation constitutes an important force which should be utilised for the benefit, development as well as the prosperity of all countries without exception or exclusion;
(c) developing countries continue facing special difficulties in responding to the globalisation challenge; and that our failure to address the negative effects of globalisation on developing countries would further prolong the effects of colonialism and slavery in countries which have endured that legacy as well as the rest of the third world;
(d) as apartheid was declared by the United Nations as a "crime against humanity" it is necessary to view racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in that light.
We believe that planet Earth is big enough for all of us homosapiens regardless of race, creed or colour - to live together in peace because our central bond, the nexus, is our common humanity whilst the other attributes are accidents of biology, history and geography.
We, in a world of peoples, need a culture whose cradle will be `love your neighbour as you love yourself' nd `do unto others as you would have done to yourself.' For, after all, all persons are born equal and constitute a single human family which is rich in diversity.
It is our fervent hope that:
(a) this historic conference will hammer out remedies and strategies which will be employed to outlaw or banish racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
(b) the recommended strategies will be implemented at the national, regional and international level through legal socio-politico and economic instruments;
(c) Governments and non-governmental organisations will internalise and own the recommendations of this conference;
(d) an acceptable formula will be found through which the wrongs of the past will be corrected without upsetting the apple cart;
(e) International co-operation will be overwhelming throughout with monitoring mechanisms in place;
(f) This conference will not be the last since we would like to have racism and all the related evils exiled or annihilated.
Finally, Madam President, from Durban, let us go to work.