By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Oct. 8, 2022
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Demond Tutu’s legacy on hope and healing.
Mohammed gave the tribute in her remarks at the 12th annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture on Friday at Cape Town, South Africa.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN deputy chief is in South Africa to call for renewed action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build peace – together.
“Our world, our Global Village, is in deep crisis. We are today in desperate need of hope and of healing. And the Archbishop stood above all for courageous hope and healing, based on principles rooted in pragmatism.
“Hope, the Archbishop famously said, “is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
“You see it wonderfully when you fly and the sky is overcast. Sometimes you forget that just beyond the clouds, the sun is shining.”
As a proud African man, she said the Archbishop leveraged his position in international bodies, from the World Council of Churches to the All Africa Conference of Churches and, later, the Elders, to promote positive change and share his wisdom, not only in his own country and continent, but around our global village.
“Inspired and humbled by his legacy, I am here just as a mere servant of the Global Townhall, to the Global Village, the United Nations – calling for global transformation from the inside out, shepherded by Archbishop, his steadfast commitment to hope and healing.
“As we say often, our world is in crisis with Africa left behind, yet again,’’ the UN deputy chief said.
Mohammed said that the second lesson from the life of Archbishop Tutu was to strive for a prosperous future and that we must also be ready to build peace, together, in solidarity.
She said the Archbishop was a firm believer in social interdependence, a central concept in his philosophy, expressed as “Ubuntu”.
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together,” as the Arch so beautifully said.
The UN deputy chief said he understood that peace, in its broader concept, can only be achieved if we approach humanity as a community in which – as in any African village – everyone takes care of each other.
“This notion of peace is not only the absence of violence or conflict, but the pursuit of common values.
“And this concept is often reflected in African thinking and, when we are lucky, in some of our policies today. We just need to implement them.
“When African countries adopted the Lusaka roadmap for Silencing the Guns, they acknowledged that tackling the root causes must deal with social-economic issues including inequalities, injustice, and the exclusion of our youth and women, all of which are indispensable to peace an sustainable development,’’ she said.
Mohammed said the third of the Archbishop’s lessons was to build a prosperous future and we must be fully committed to working together, collectively, for the common good.
“Archbishop was a true believer in the power of multilateralism,’’ she said.
The UN deputy chief, however, said global challenges were undermining trust in multilateralism at a time when we needed it most.
“This calls for a reformed and a strengthened multilateral system with the transformation for being more fit for purpose of the United Nations at the core.
“A multilateral system that serves those who are furthest behind, not just those who were first in line 75 years ago.
A multilateral system that responds to the needs and challenges of today, looking into tomorrow,’’ she said.