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Annan Receives South Africa’s Tambo Award

Annan Receives South Africa’s Tambo Award, Highest For Foreign National

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today celebrated the achievements of post-apartheid South Africa as he was given the highest award for foreign nationals who have shown it solidarity, the Supreme Companion of O. R. Tambo, “an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.”

The United Nations worked to accelerate the isolation and eventual demise of the apartheid regime, Mr. Annan said in a message delivered by his Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, Ibrahima Fall.

“We remember it as a struggle which galvanized the entire world community” to work towards reaffirming the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, irrespective of race or gender, he said.

“Today, 10 years after the end of apartheid, we rejoice at the significant achievements of South Africa as a vibrant, non-racial, multi-party democracy, with a constitution protective of basic human rights, enjoying sturdy rates of economic growth.”

Young South Africans all have the right to a quality education and all have the chance to contribute to building a stronger, more prosperous country, which can help not only its own citizens but also lead progress throughout the wider region, he said.

South Africans have played an indispensable part in efforts to bring peace to several countries on the continent and are working to advance the cause of development, justice and African unity, Mr. Annan said.

Oliver Reginald Tambo was the one-time law partner of Nelson Mandela and was Acting President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1967 to 1978 and President-General thereafter. The leader of orchestrated international economic campaigns to bring down apartheid, he died in 1993.

Previous Tambo award winners include human rights activist Mahatma Gandhi of India, former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and assassinated Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme.

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