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         20 September 2001

President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa will give the 2nd "U Thant Distinguished Lecture" on Tuesday, 2 October 2001. The lecture, which will focus on the "New African Initiative," will be held in cooperation with the South African Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It will take place from 1600 to 1730 hours in the UN University's U Thant International Conference Hall.

The New African Initiative outlines a strategy to reduce poverty and place Africa on a path of sustainable growth and development. The Initiative calls for a new relationship between Africa and the international community and was discussed at the recent G8 summit in Genoa. During his presentation, Mr. Mbeki will outline his views on how Africa can tackle its enormous economic and social problems and make a contribution to the international community in the twenty-first century.

Thabo Mbeki has been the President of the Republic of South Africa since 1999 and was Deputy President from 1994 to 1999. As a leading figure in the fight against Apartheid, President Mbeki has been an active member of the African National Congress (ANC) for more than 40 years. President Mbeki is seen as an independent and original thinker as well as a respected political leader. He is particularly known for his efforts to reestablish an active and constructive role in the world for Africa.

The U Thant Distinguished Lecture series, co-organized by the UNU Centre and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS), is a forum through which leading thinkers speak on the role of the United Nations in addressing the challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century.

There will be an opportunity for open discussion following Mr. Mbeki's lecture. Simultaneous English-Japanese interpretation will be provided. Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. We request that you confirm your attendance in advance with the UNU Public Affairs Section.

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For further information please contact
UNU Public Affairs Section:
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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