on the Occasion of the Presentation of Donation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation,
17 June 2011, Nelson Mandela Foundation
Mr. Achmat Dangor,
Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour for me to be here today, to present on behalf of the Royal Thai Government this donation to the amount of three hundred and fifty thousand Thailand Baht (350,000.00 Baht) or Seventy-eight thousand, five hundred and eighty two Rands and ninety-two cents (ZAR 78,582.92) to support the activities of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the repository of the spirit and ideals of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
For South Africans, former President Mandela is the beloved founding father of modern South Africa; this Rainbow Nation that continues to serve as a shining beacon of the potentials and possibilities of the vast African Continent. For the international community, Mr. Mandela is deeply respected and honoured for his achievements in bringing about reconciliation for South Africa following years of apartheid, for which he well-served the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, and for his various advocacies and contributions on social developments and human rights for those in need.
For the people of Thailand, Mr. Mandela is a highly respected world leader and a living example of the ability of humanity to successfully face and overcome adversity and the challenges of life, for both himself and his people, with grace and dignity. We in Thailand still remember both of Mr. Mandela’s visits to Thailand: the first in July 1997 in his capacity as President of the Republic of South Africa, and the second visit seven years later when he flew to Bangkok to speak at the XV (15th) International AIDS Conference. We still retain vivid memories of His Majesty the King of Thailand shaking hands with Mr. Mandela during his Royal Audience. In fact, the photograph of that historic moment can still be seen in DIRCO and at my Residence in Pretoria.
As the organization devoted to preserving and promoting the values, vision and works of former President Mandela, the Nelson Mandela Foundation plays an important role in ensuring that the ideals championed by Mr. Mandela – those of humanity, reconciliation and social justice – continues to be an important fabric of the international community. This is an important role even more so in these days and ages when the boundaries of the world continue to fall and human interaction increases in intensity and dimensions. It is for this reason that the Royal Thai Government is donating this token of support for the efforts and activities of the Foundation, and we certainly hope to be able to provide additional contributions in the future. We wish the Foundation every success in preserving and furthering Mr. Mandela’s ideals and legacy.