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Tuesday, August 04, 2020
King's Speeches

Nelson Mandela's position in favor of the preservation of national sovereignty made him advocate of peace and understanding

HM King Mohammed VI sent a message to the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, held Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Here follows the full text of the royal message, which was read out by minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita:

"Praise be to God,

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

His Excellency Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Mr. Secretary General,

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The late Nelson Mandela embodies some of humanity's loftiest values and ideals: those of peace, forgiveness, resilience, humility and integrity.

The world thinks highly and fondly of him because of his struggles; they were always right, always necessary. The world admires him for his strength of character, his concern for vulnerable people and his fight, throughout his life, against discrimination and inequality.

Above all, Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of an unshakeable faith in the virtues of dialogue, peace and tolerance.

There was most certainly a Moroccan chapter in Madiba’s rich life. He had sincere affection for my late father, His Majesty King Hassan II - may he rest in peace - whom he held in high esteem.

This affection was mutual. It stemmed from the unconditional support provided by Morocco to African Liberation Movements. This was a core feature of the reign of my late grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V, and of my late father, His Majesty King Hassan II. Both of them welcomed all African Liberation Movements. When the latter sought help and support, they used the Kingdom as a military and political base.

As leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela knew that he could count on Morocco's support.

Between 1960 and 1962, Mandela lived in Morocco, where he received the Kingdom’s support for his legitimate struggle. This multiform, continuous assistance during the struggle waged by the South African national movement included the training of ANC activists in the Oujda region, the provision of logistical and military aid to the ANC as well as support for the diplomatic activities led by the Nelson Mandela Movement abroad.

By stating these facts, the aim is not to remind everyone of Morocco’s leading role in providing support to Mandela but, rather, to underscore the convergence of two courses of history and the sense of a common commitment - a commitment that ought to continue today.

In appreciation of that precious assistance, Nelson Mandela made it a point to come to Morocco in November 1994 to show his unfailing solidarity with the Moroccan people. During that visit, His late Majesty King Hassan II - may he rest in peace - awarded Mr. Mandela the Kingdom’s highest distinction in recognition of the exceptional struggle he waged for equality and justice.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nelson Mandela embodied not only the struggle of a people, but also that of a continent: Our Africa. A staunch advocate of the principles of equity, probity and universal morality, Mandela belonged to a category of African leaders who were committed to humanist values and lofty principles.

His stance on the preservation of national sovereignty earned him the status of champion of peace and understanding between nations – a stance far removed from vicissitudes, uncertainties, calculations and harmful divisions. To those who advocated separatism or caused any form of instability, Mandela responded by championing unity, for he understood that our continent’s development hinged on the territorial integrity of its States.

The action of Mandela the politician was always characterized by sound, well though-out judgments: his major decisions were never made hastily. He incarnated a school of wisdom that his successors should perpetuate. The values he embodied with unwavering courage are the very values to which we firmly adhere. They are the guiding principles of my country’s political and civic action in the Kingdom, in Africa and in the world.

Nelson Mandela showed us that dialogue and negotiation must be pursued with relentless resolve, no matter how deep the chasms or misunderstandings. Unfortunately, however, even when peace was within reach at times, we often let the occasion slip.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A man of natural modesty and humility, Nelson Mandela was a universalist who embodied a particular vision of the world. This extraordinary man belongs indisputably to a category of universal people whose destiny has local, national, continental and global implications. The United Nations Organization should defend and preserve this ideal to shape the lofty vision Mandela had in mind - the one to which he devoted his life and his action.

An icon of reconciliation, the late Mandela never stopped urging us to engage in a collective self-examination regarding the humanist values he embodied, calling upon us to transcend our divisions, be they political or economic.

To grapple with the scourge of racism, he advocated liberation; to tackle partition, he championed unity; to ward off the perils of fragmentation and marginalization, he opted for unification; he was a relentless advocate of progress and prosperity, instead of underdevelopment and isolation.

These are the virtues he was keen to share in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: they represent the quintessence of his action in today's world.

It is perhaps for these noble reasons that, as we gather here today, we find his absence so unbearable that we prefer to celebrate his birth - one of those births that are honored worldwide. Another birth that humanity owes to Africa.

Thank you.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."


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