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The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.

fwdk podium

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to address you today on a topic that is so relevant to so many of the developments that are shaping the world in the 21st century. 

People who imagine that ethnicity and religion are artificial hang-overs from a regrettable and unlamented past are deluding themselves.

They are still central to the lives of billions of people throughout the world.

On the one hand, they provide us with much of our meaning, purpose and identity as human beings. 

We, the Nobel Peace Laureates and Peace Laureate Organisations, gathered at the XVIIth World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates from 19 - 22 September 2019, wish to thank the State of Yucatán, the city of Mérida and the nation of Mexico for hosting this World Summit. We are inspired by being able to meet in a city and state with such warmly hospitable people, with such a rich Mexican and Mayan cultural heritage and surrounded by such natural beauty.

We commend the progress that the State of Yucatán has made in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and encourage the promotion of a just society for all.   

Since the beginning of this century there have hardly been any wars between countries.  Most conflict is now within countries between cultural, religious and language communities.

All three of the world’s major ongoing wars - those in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria - are being exacerbated by divisions between Islamist fundamentalists, and Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. 

The world’s seven minor wars - in Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Southern Sudan, Mali, the Sahel and Libya - likewise have their origins in the clashes between ethnic tribes, Islamist fundamentalists, moderate Muslims and Christians.

nuclear panel

74 years after Hiroshima, the world’s nuclear weapons arsenals continue to pose an existential threat to mankind.

After so many decades of efforts to limit and eliminate nuclear weapons, it should be clear by now that none of the nuclear weapons states have the slightest intention of dispensing with their own nuclear weapons capability.  

There is, indeed, general agreement about the need to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons - and nuclear weapons states may from time to time be willing to enter into agreements regarding the rationalisation of their nuclear weapons arsenals - but there is no indication that they are prepared to do much more than give lip service to the elimination of this fundamental threat to human existence.

It is a great pleasure for me to address the youth delegates at this Nobel Peace Laureate Summit in Mérida.

I have no doubt that one of the central challenges that your generation will confront will be the management of the enormous changes that you will experience during your lifetimes.   

You will need very special leadership skills to deal with change - because:

  • It is accelerating;
  • It is unpredictable; and
  • It is fundamental.

RENWICK 6 JUNE

It is a pleasure to talk about South African history in a country with such a long and distinguished history - and at a school whose alumni have contributed so greatly to Britain and to the world.

It is, of course, impossible to understand the past 40 years in South Africa without   understanding the preceding 400 years.  Britain played a major role in the evolution of that history - as it did in the histories of so many countries throughout the world.

The British first occupied the Cape in 1795 and then annexed it in 1806.

The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) issued a report on 28 August entitled “Running out of Road: South Africa's public finances and what is to be done”. They conclude that if South Africa does not overcome its fiscal crisis, there will be no accelerated economic growth. However, the opposite is also true: if we don’t start growing the economy, we will not be able to cope with the fiscal crisis. South Africa needs an uncompromising growth strategy, which must be applied strictly. CDE Chief Ann Bernstein warns that Government and the ruling party do not seem to fully realise how profound the changes are that are needed and how much leadership it will take from the President to get it right.

ARMY opt

There is nothing wrong with first world national health schemes if you are a first world country.  Unfortunately, South Africa is not a first world country and simply does not have the resources or manpower to achieve the ambitious objectives of the ANC’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. 

As it stands, the NHI has the potential to cause more havoc than even the dire prospect of expropriation without compensation. If it is implemented as envisaged it will have a direct impact on the lived experience of South Africa’s multi-racial middle class, millions of South Africans who already bear a heavy tax burden.  If parents with sick children have to wait for weeks for medical appointments - and for yet more weeks to see specialists - their frustration and anger will dominate their lives.   And to make things worse, the NHI will not make any difference to the presently crippled and defunct public health system.

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Cape Town, 7500, South Africa
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P.O. Box 15785, Panorama, 7506, South Africa

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