The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced that the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture will be delivered by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres on 18 July 2020. 

The theme for this year’s lecture will be hosted under the theme “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new Social Contract for a New Era.”

 “(It) will focus on the current inequalities that have come under sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and will look ahead to what we must do to address the world’s fragilities and build fair globalisation,” says the organisation in a statement.

The lecture will be hosted virtually, live from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg and the United Nations in New York City, due to the current global coronavirus health crisis.

It will be streamed live on the Nelson Mandela Foundation website and on United Nations platforms, and broadcast live on television networks and on the radio.

The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Series invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues. The lecture series is an important event on the Foundation’s calendar and encourages people to enter into dialogue, often about difficult subjects, to address the challenges the world faces today.

Previous speakers include, among others, South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, former United States President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former South African President Thabo Mbeki. 

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, has had a long and varied career in public service.

“Whether working as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon or representing his constituency in the Portuguese parliament and from his years as Prime Minister to his service as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Guterres has sought to ease suffering, protect the vulnerable and ensure human rights for all. These priorities have remained at the core of his efforts today as Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

Preview on the virtual Nelson Mandela Lecture with Sherwin Bryce-Pease: