UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Happy and Peaceful New Year

And what better way to start than with a selection of quotes from Nelson Mandela....
On Poverty: "Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

"And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.

"While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

On Palestine: "When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.

But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians...."

On Children: "We will urge these leaders to take their turn in reaching out to a wider circle, still inviting, cajoling, carrying each other along, in an unprecedented international movement, a collective global force that will herald the rights of children and act to ensure them.

“This global partnership will be guided in its work by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that luminous, living, document that enshrines the rights of every child without exception, to a life of dignity and self-fulfilment.

“We are not seeking, nor will we accept vague promises. We will challenge enlightened government leaders to join us and turn their words into deeds, enforce the laws, enact the policies and search out the excluded children - the girl child, the poor child, the one little one with disabilities, the one from the wrong tribe, wrong caste - and find the ways to embrace them.”

On Trade Unions: “You were among the front troops in the battle against apartheid. You were in the front ranks in charting the path out of the mess this system created. We are confident that COSATU will be at the forefront of the successful implementation of the Reconstruction and Development Programme. Only then shall we be able to say that power is truly in the hands of the people.”

On Leadership: “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”