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South African Archbishop calls for radical action at CHOGM on Africa's AIDS and Debt crisis

Posted on: August 30, 2001 6:16 PM
Related Categories: Australia

The successor to Desmond Tutu as Anglican Primate of Southern Africa, the highly respected anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Ndungane, is visiting Sydney. He will call for Prime Minister Howard and all CHOGM leaders to work together to release African nations from their slavery to external Debt so they can combat the continent's HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Archbishop Ndungane was gaoled as an anti-apartheid activist with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island in 1963-66. He was later educated at King's College, London, and made Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996.

Today he is critical of the South African Government's stubborn refusal to work within scientifically accepted parameters on HIV/AIDS. He also calls for an effective global response.

The Archbishop demands an end to the slavery of Debt as a key step in the global response to the AIDS pandemic: "We don't want charity - we want justice. We seek a justice that recognizes that many African countries have repaid their loans to developed nations several times over.

In South Africa, for example, the second highest item on our national agenda is for servicing debts. Debts incurred to sustain the apartheid regime. It is as much in your interests as in ours that those funds be re-channeled to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic."

The Archbishop has said, "Prime Minister Howard should work with other Commonwealth leaders so that CHOGM will use its common voice to call for the debts of the poorest to be cancelled."

Archbishop Ndungane is here as a guest of Jubilee Australia, with the support of the Anglican Synod of Sydney. His public lectures will be at 1 p.m. on August 30 in the Carslaw Building at Sydney University, lecture room 159, and in the Chapter House of St Andrew's Cathedral at 7 pm.