Human Rights Day Commemoration 2015 at South Africa’s Oslo Mission
Ambassador Zondo together with FOKUS Director Lindstad (left) and PAWA Director Adahada (middle)
On 27 March 2015, H.E Ambassador Zondo of South Africa in Oslo, Norway, hosted a highly successful event on Human Rights, with a special focus on Women’s Rights, gathering a crowd of guests affiliated with various Human Rights and Female Rights Organizations as well as SA Society Norway and Embassy contacts.
Third Secretary Admin; Ms Nkwane, acted as the MC of the event, firstly welcoming the Director of PAWA (Pan African Women’s Association), Ms Regina Adahada, to the stage. Ms Adahada delivered a heartfelt speech on challenges regarding the current situation on Women’s Rights on a global scale.
Thereafter a power point presentation on the history of Human Rights from a South African stance followed, including video clips from speeches made by South Africa’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of UN Women, the United Nations body tasked with promoting women's rights and their full participation in global affairs.
Gro Lindstad, Executive Director of FOKUS delivered a strong and inspirational speech on her area of expertise; Women’s Rights, echoing the famous sentiment made by Hillary Clinton; “Human rights are women's rights - and women's rights are human rights”. Lindstad recently returned from New York where she attended a UN Women conference focusing on the current challenges that affect the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
FOKUS’ primary goal is to contribute to the improvement of women’s social, economic, and political situation internationally. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit is FOKUS’ patron and FOKUS cooperates with partners in 14 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The organization finances 26 women’s projects and programs in these countries.
Ambassador Zondo gave the powerful closing remarks where she firstly paid homage to the victims of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, stating that: “For many of us, the scars of this sad event still remain deeply embedded in our memories and similarly in many areas the evil consequences of apartheid continue to be clearly visible, 20 years into our democracy. On this day we are called upon to remember where we have been and where we would never want to be again”.
Ambassador Zondo further said; “The Mission has decided that the theme for the commemoration of human rights this year is ‘Women’s rights’. This theme also reminds us that though we have made significant gains in the promotion, development and protection of human rights of our women since the advent of democracy, we still have to do more to ensure that human dignity, equality and freedom is permanently entrenched in the lives of our women.”
After the speeches the guests enjoyed a traditional South African braai, accompanied by SA wine and fruit juices, whilst listening to SA music classics.
South African Embassy in Oslo, Norway