Minister Dlamini Zuma Speech at the
Iusy Festival - Kaman Overlap, Greece 26 July 2003
President of the IUSY, Alvaro Alidade;
Secretary General of the IUSY, Enzo Amendable;
The Executive Bureau of PASOK;
Progressive youth of the World;
It is indeed my pleasure and honour to be amongst you
today. I add my voice to the many, in expressing my
congratulations to the PASOK Youth who took on the challenge
of organising the IUSY Festival 2003.
Nonetheless, I must express my concern that politicians
should not be coming to your Conference to address you
but rather to take this opportunity to pause and to
listen to this important sector of our society, the
Further, given the uncertainties of the times we live
in, it is only correct that the progressive youth of
the world, should come together, to discuss the challenges
facing the world, under the theme: "Action for
As the youth, you are not only the majority of the worlds
citizens but you will inherit this world in the future.
It is therefore critically important that you begin
now to seek to shape and transform it into a better
place for all. In that way you can be the architects
of your own destiny.
As progressive forces, we can only but agree with the
assertion that peace as a human condition is not merely
the absence of war and conflict, but also a state of
human socio-economic well being.
Consequently, we assert the vision that the peaceful
world which we seek is not only a world that is people
centred, people-driven, just, stable, and secure, but
also a world that is free of poverty and under-development
and one that ensures equality, co-operation and solidarity
among all nations, in which the masses of the people
participate in the affairs of the state - both nationally
This very Festival is a building bloc towards a peaceful
world. Peace starts with mutual understanding, building
bonds of friendship, solidarity and strong internationalism.
This must surely continue to define our actions within
the countries we live in and in the regions and continents
we inhabit. As the progressive youth of the world, this
is certainly your destiny and your future!
Humanity is at a crossroad, that can best be characterised,
more by what divides, rather than what unites us. Diversity
is viewed as a threat rather than a strength that contributes
to the beautiful tapestry of humanity.
It is indeed sad to note that whilst globalisation has
created immense opportunities of wealth for some, it
has produced the abundance of poverty for others. It
is immoral that we should live in a world in which the
rich are getting richer and more powerful whilst the
poor are getting poorer and more marginalized.
Instead of globalisation creating a common village characterised
by democracy, justice, freedom and prosperity for all,
it has produced two contrasting villages - one which
is indeed prosperous, rich and democratic for the few
who live in it - and the other, in which the majority
are poor, alienated and marginalized with hardly any
voice to determine their own destiny.
In this regard, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa,
noted at the recent Progressive Governance Summit held
in London, that: " Global poverty constitutes the
deepest and most dangerous structural fault in the contemporary
world economy and global human security".
Never before has the world witnessed such unprecedented
alienation and marginalisation of societies from the
institutions that shape and direct their lives.
This alienation undermines the very essence of democracy,
which entails participation of the masses. It is worsening
especially in countries of the North where voter turn
out is always very small, and general participation
in affairs of governance virtually absent at national
Internationally, democracy is practised through the
multilateral organisations, imperfect as it may be.
Recently there has been an increasing tendency towards
unilateralism and thus the weakening of the multilateral
system of international governance. This is a very dangerous
development and not only does it undermine the very
essence of democracy but poses a threat to world peace
This reality that confronts us, must mean that unless
as the youth, you mobilise for change and for the reconstruction
of a world based on common and shared humanity where
indeed we are all our brothers and sisters
keepers, you will inherit a very dangerous, divided
world which is a threat to global peace.
It is for this reason we welcome the Declaration of
the recently held Progressive Governance Summit Communique
which stated, among other things, that:
"This century has the potential to bring huge advances
in health, in knowledge, in prosperity, and to bring
billions of people out of poverty.
" We are optimistic that a truly prosperous, inclusive
and secure global society is within our reach. However,
realising that potential depends on careful and concerted
action. It depends on the progress we make in further
integrating our economies, societies, regions and communities.
And it depends on our success in standing firm against
division within societies - against prejudice, discrimination,
and inequality - and against division at a global level
into competing blocs.
" Some will continue to respond by turning inwards
to the comforts of old identities, old ways of thinking
and old structures. We believe that new challenges demand
new solutions that combine fiscal responsibility, investment
in citizens and democratic processes.
" As progressive government, we should therefore
accelerate our work in matching imaginative new ideas
with practical means of putting them at the service
of the citizens we represent."
As the progressive leaders of tomorrow, I call upon
you, for the sake of a better world for all, to join
hands with the progressive leaders of today, in doing
what ought to be done, as we transform ourselves into
activists for the victory of the global progressive
agenda, activists for a more equal, caring and most
importantly a peaceful world.
As activists of progressive change, we must empower
those who are powerless and take the worlds people
to a more humane position - a common vantage point that
stands for peace and stability and a world that will
use its might in feeding and educating its children;
in protecting the vulnerable; in privileging dialogue
and conflict resolution over war and acts of terrorism;
in ensuring peaceful disarmament over a show of military
might that has devastating and unknown consequences
for a large part of humanity.
We have no option but to choose the path of hope and
solidarity as we pursue effective and constructive dialogue
among the peoples of the world based on mutual interest,
benefits and a shared responsibility to the common issues
that confront humanity. We must act in a manner that
respects international law and promotes multilateralism
as a means of seeking consensus in world affairs.
As activists of progressive change we must rally behind
the objectives and programmes agreed to, at the Millennium
Summit. The attainment of the Millennium Goals will
enable us to transform the face of the world in the
shortest possible time. We must implement the programmes
agreed to at the World Conference against Racism Xenophobia
and Related Intolerances, the World Food Summit, the
Financing for Development conference and the World Summit
for Sustainable Development, amongst other landmark
A region of the world, which cannot escape the attention
of Festival 2003, is the Middle East. Our common humanity
and solidarity compels us to desire for the people of
that region, what we desire for ourselves; and that
is peace, stability and security for all.
A just and sustainable settlement that recognises the
right of Palestinians to statehood and the right of
Israel to exist within secure borders should surely
bring lasting peace to both nations. I am therefore
pleased to learn that Festival 2003 has been seized
with the issues of peace in the Middle East.
We must do more to exert our belief that the strengthening
of international relations is only possible through
a durable process of dialogue amongst people based on
mutual respect and one that promotes the culture of
peace, respect and acceptance of diversity within unity.
As Africans, we too have stopped at the crossroad to
reflect upon the way ahead. We have recognised that
the moment is upon us when the marginalisation of our
continent must surely come to an end and that as Africans
we have a common and shared destiny.
We came together to reaffirm the challenge that none
but ourselves can set our continent on a recovery path,
and that we are the architects of our own future and
thus claim the right to shape our own destiny.
Through our actions, we are committed to claim this
century as the African Century and we accept the challenge
that we Africans must liberate our continent from the
indignity of poverty, ignorance, and economic marginalisation.
We accept the responsibility to create peace and stability,
to deepen democracy and to ensure that good governance
underpins all our efforts. We accept the responsibility
to end war and conflict on our continent, to end dictatorships
and domination by corrupt elites.
In pursuit of all of this, African leaders a year ago,
came together in Durban, South Africa, to launch the
African Union, and adopt its development programme,
Within the coming year, and as a matter of urgency,
we will establish the Pan African Parliament, the Peace
and Security Council, the Economic and Social Council,
adopt a Common Defence and Security Policy, and install
the African Court of Justice and eventually the financial
All of these structures shall be seized with the issues
of African peace, African solidarity and Africas
We are doing all this, to ensure that Africa is fully
integrated in the world community, taking her rightful
place as an equal in the affairs of the world. In this
context, we are turning Africa into a continent of hope.
We believe this is possible not only for Africa but
for all the poor regions and poor peoples of the world.
It is our assertion that there are enough resources
to deal with the problems of poverty in the whole world.
All we require is a collective political will in the
world. As the world mobilised against the injustice
and indignity of apartheid, so can the world mobilise
against the indignity of poverty in the midst of plenty.
If we do not do it, the poor and the marginalized will
eventually rise against such injustice. A vision for
peace must surely mean a vision for fighting poverty
Let me pause to request from you, the progressive youth
of the world, to make this - your cause and your objective.
Partner the poor and marginalized the world over, share
in their dreams and aspirations, as they most certainly
share in yours.
None but yourselves can ensure a better future for the
coming generations of youths and people of the world,
regardless of colour, gender, disability, culture and
Together, you can and must map out a better future for
I Thank You.