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HomeFocusGlobal Anti-Apartheid Conference in Johannesburg Calls for Unity in Palestinian Struggle

Global Anti-Apartheid Conference in Johannesburg Calls for Unity in Palestinian Struggle

– Nadeem Khan

Johannesburg, May 22: South Africa hosted its inaugural Global Anti-Apartheid Conference from May 10-12, bringing together a diverse group of officials, advocates, and human rights activists from around the world. The event was initiated by the South African team that represented the country at the International Court of Justice, with the aim of fostering global solidarity against apartheid practices, particularly highlighting the Palestinian struggle.

South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor, opened the conference with a powerful address, declaring, “South Africa is the moral power of the world.” Her words resonated globally, drawing parallels between the historical apartheid in South Africa and the ongoing plight of Palestinians facing occupation, displacement, and systemic discrimination.

The conference drew significant international attention with the participation of notable figures such as representatives from the Brazilian and Bolivian governments, Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Their involvement underscored the international community’s recognition of Israel’s actions against Palestinians as a grave humanitarian issue.

In his speech, Bertie Ahern emphasized the crucial role of international solidarity, likening Ireland’s past conflicts to the current Palestinian situation. He urged the global community to strive for an end to the occupation and a just resolution for Palestinians through dialogue, respect, and justice.

Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Féin, passionately called for the dismantling of the apartheid system in Palestine. She stressed the power of international pressure and grassroots activism in driving change and reaffirmed Sinn Féin’s steadfast support for Palestinian self-determination and human rights. Ahmet Davutoğlu echoed these sentiments, advocating for a cohesive global response to the injustices faced by Palestinians and promoting sustained diplomatic efforts for peace.

Palestinian leader and activist Mustafa Barghouti shared poignant accounts of the daily struggles under occupation, urging increased international solidarity. He highlighted the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance in advancing the Palestinian cause.

Brazilian representatives added a critical perspective from Latin America, emphasizing Brazil’s commitment to human rights and justice on the international stage. Their contributions highlighted the conference’s global dimension and the interconnectedness of various struggles against systemic oppression.

The conference was a platform for civil society members from diverse backgrounds to discuss strategies, share experiences, and amplify each other’s voices. South African activists shared their journey, providing valuable insights into nonviolent resistance, international advocacy, and grassroots movements’ power.

The overarching message was one of interconnected struggles. The fight against apartheid in South Africa and the quest for justice in Palestine are part of a broader battle against systemic oppression and human rights abuses. The conference honored the legacy of South African anti-apartheid activists and called for continued support for Palestinian rights.

Solidarity, as the conference underscored, is a call to action. It requires educating, advocating, and mobilizing civil society to challenge the status quo, demand accountability, and support justice and human dignity movements worldwide.

Nelson Mandela’s words, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” encapsulated the conference’s spirit, inspiring attendees to strive tirelessly for Palestinian freedom.

From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!

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