Message of Support from the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Fourth Ordinary Session of the PAP on the Occasion of the Formal Opening of the New Temporary PAP Chamber at Gallagher Estate, 21 November 2005

Your Excellency President of the PAP Ambassdor Mrs Mongella
Honourable Members of the PAP Bureau
Your Excellency Commissioner Joiner of the African Union
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Leaders of the faith communities
Honourable members of the Pan-African Parliament
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all here today to South Africa on the occasion of the opening of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament. South Africa is once again greatly honoured to be the host of this esteemed continental Parliament.

We are here for the first time in the new temporary Chamber of the Pan African Parliament which has just been opened today and which will be the home of the Pan African Parliament for the next four years.

As host country we are proud to provide this Chamber and we hope that the deliberations here will be enhanced by the new and elegant chamber.

Excellencies, President Mbeki has called this parliament the "African Parliament of Liberators". In welcoming the decision to allow our country to host this parliament he declared that:

"It is our responsibility, acting together with all other patriotic forces in Africa and the African Diaspora to ensure that we mobilise the masses of the people to act as their own liberators, taking advantage of the current African and global conjuncture that presents us with the possibility to achieve the age-old dream of the genuine, all-round emancipation of the African people."

He said:

" As the hosts of the PAP we have a responsibility to create the best possible conditions for this assembly of the peoples of Africa to carry out its work"

We hope that this chamber will contribute positively to that environment and that the important work that this parliament will do in the next 10 days.

Once again, President Mbeki, speaking at the opening of the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Parliament, and the first of South African soil reminded us that:

"You, esteemed Members of the Pan African Parliament, have been elected by the masses of our people as their trusted representatives. You carry in your hands the hopes of the people. These masses expect that you will be their fearless champions, who will refuse to be distracted by petty things, inspired to serve the great causes that must lead us to the Renaissance of Africa.

"For all these reasons this gathering of the Pan African Parliament is a proud moment for all Africans, wherever they may be. It is a moment that gives us hope that sooner rather than later, the entirety of the people of our continent will express the reality of their own situations with the words - Africa's time has come!"

Once again this gathering gives us the opportunity to take a further step towards the realisation of these dreams.

On behalf of the South African government and the South African people I once again welcome you here and wish you every success in your deliberations.

Thank you

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

21 November 2005


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