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By News24 Wire

Wire Service

UN secretary-general António Guterres to deliver 2020 Nelson Mandela lecture

This year's lecture will be the first to be hosted virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

United Nations secretary-general António Guterres will deliver the 18th Nelson Mandela annual lecture on 18 July this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced.

This year’s lecture will be the first to be hosted virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The theme for this year’s lecture, ‘Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new Social Contract for a New Era’, will focus on the current inequalities that have come under sharp relief during the Covid-19 pandemic and will look ahead to what we must do to address the world’s fragilities and build a fair globalisation,” the foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the foundation, the annual lecture invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues.


Previous speakers include South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, former US president Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former South African president Thabo Mbeki, among many others.

Guterres is the ninth secretary-general of the United Nations, and took office in January 2017.

“Whether working as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon or representing his constituency in the Portuguese parliament and from his years as Prime Minister to his service as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Guterres has sought to ease suffering, protect the vulnerable and ensure human rights for all,” the foundation said in its statement.

“These priorities have remained at the core of his efforts today as secretary-general of the United Nations.”

The lecture will be streamed live from the foundation’s headquarters in Johannesburg and the United Nations in New York.

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