Closing comments by Kgalema Motlanthe

JOHANNESBURG COUNCIL- The Progressive Agenda, 15-16 November 2004

Closing Comments by Kgalema Motlanthe
Secretary General of the African National Congress

We arrived here a couple of days ago, representatives of progressive forces from across the globe, with a number and a variety of different objectives. We each had various issues that we wanted to place before this Council, and a range of perspectives which we sought to present to our assembled colleagues and comrades.

Over the last two days we have each been given a platform for our concerns, our hopes, our insights, and our analysis of the challenges facing both the countries we represent and the world we share. We have differed on some issues, and we have been unanimous on others.

We may have arrived here with different views and different intentions, but we leave today with a common objective and a common responsibility. We leave today with the collective responsibility to campaign, to mobilise, to negotiate, to agitate, and to spare no effort in working to take forward a programme of progressive global change.

We live in a divided world. It is a world divided between those few who have so much, and those many who have so little. It is a world divided between those who seek to bridge the divide between the wealthy and the poor, and those who seek to exploit and deepen that divide. It is a world divided between those who seek a peaceful and just resolution of conflict and an end to global instability through democratic multilateral institutions, and those who believe that military might and economic muscle should determine the balance of relations among the peoples of the world.

The parties and organisations represented here in this Council know on which side of that divide we stand. We know that we stand on the side of the poor and dispossessed. We know that we stand on the side of democracy, multilateralism and the rule of law. We know that we stand on the side of unity and progress.

Our task, as we adjourn here today, is therefore to return to our homes, to our towns and cities, to our countrysides, to our countries, and to our regions – and pursue with ever greater vigour and confidence the programme of progressive action that we have deliberated on today.

On behalf of the African National Congress, on behalf of our President Thabo Mbeki and our Deputy President Jacob Zuma, and on behalf of the people of South Africa, I thank you for choosing our young democracy as the site of this important meeting. We have been greatly honoured and much enriched by your presence here over the last couple of days.

We trust that we will meet again before not too long, and that at that meeting we will be able to report on the great progress we have made, both individually and collectively, in building a qualitatively better life for our people and the peoples of the world.

I thank you and wish you well as you travel back home.