"...the purpose of studying history is not to deride human action, nor to weep over it or to hate it, but to understand it. And hopefully then to learn from it as we contemplate our future.
Today, I come here as an African, as the guest of a Centre that is devoted to the study of Islam, in a European institution of excellence. And I come to pose the question whether our generation has the capacity to close the circle on these five centuries.
Can we say with confidence that it is within our reach to declare that never again shall continents, countries or communities be reduced to the smoking battlefields of contending forces of nationality, religion, race or language?
Shall we rise to the challenge which history has put before us, of ensuring that the world's prodigious capacity for economic growth benefits all its people and not just the powerful? Will future generations say of us: Indeed, they did lay the foundations for the eradication of world poverty; they succeeded in establishing a new world order based on mutual respect, partnership and equity?" #Madiba