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António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on the observance of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day - General Assembly Informal meeting
20 Jul 2020 -  Remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the General Assembly's observance of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day (Informal meeting).
"(...) On today’s commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day, I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 2020 laureates of the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize: Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece and Dr. Morissana Kouyate of Guinea.
Both are recognized for their long-standing commitment to the service of humanity in the areas of human rights, access to health care, and the empowerment of women and girls and the most vulnerable in society.
I commend them for advancing the United Nations’ mission and carrying on the extraordinary legacy of Nelson Mandela.
As Madiba himself once said: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”
This message was the core of the Nelson Mandela lecture I delivered this weekend.
High and rising levels of inequality threaten our well-being and our future.
Inequality damages everyone.
It is a brake on human development and opportunities, and is associated with unfair international relations, but also with economic instability, corruption, financial crises, increased crime and poor physical and mental health.
The answer lies in a New Social Contract, to ensure economic and social justice and respect for human rights.
A New Social Contract within societies will enable young people to live in dignity.
It will ensure women have the same prospects and opportunities as men.
And it will protect the sick, the vulnerable, and minorities of all kinds (...)" - António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations [Excerpt].