09 Nov 2018
The Hon. Deputy Minister Regina Mhaule
Excellencies, my ASEAN Colleagues
My sisters and brothers at DIRCO
1. Thank you for this opportunity to say a few words.
2. As the Hon. Deputy Minister may be aware, my Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan participated in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in New York recently on behalf of the ASEAN countries. Singapore is chair of ASEAN for 2018. He made three points, which I would elaborate as follows.
3. First, he said that Madiba not only changed South Africa, but also the world, quoting Madiba, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” Madiba’s call to action remains relevant and urgent today.
4. Second, he recalled that Madiba made many visits to ASEAN and strengthened ties between ASEAN and Africa. Madiba rekindled old ties that went back to colonial times, where Southeast Asians were brought to Africa, but also charted the course forward based on peace and reconciliation, diversity and tolerance, openness and cooperation.
5. Third, my Minister concluded that the wise words of Madiba would continue to inspire the citizens of ASEAN in the years to come, quoting “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
6. Thank you.