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Thabo Mbeki, Secretary for International Affairs, ANC: Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

18 January 1993

I take this opportunity to extend seasonal greetings to you.

The people of South Africa will enter 1993 eagerly looking forward to a future of democracy and social progress, without apartheid and violence. After many difficulties, the negotiations process is once again underway in our country. That requires the ANC to use all its resources to ensure that elections for a Constitutional Assembly take place before the end of 1993 and an Interim Government of National Unity established.

We therefore believe 1993 will be a decisive year for the people of South Africa. We take this opportunity to extend our warm appreciation to you for your consistent opposition to apartheid and your support for democracy in our country. Knowing you and working with you over the years has proved to be a great source of inspiration.

It is vital that as we enter this most critical stage of our struggle, we meet together to analyse the situation and together work out appropriate strategies for successfully marching the last mile to freedom.

The ANC has therefore decided to convene an International Conference under the theme - From Apartheid to Peace, Democracy and Development - to be held here in Johannesburg from 19 to 21 February 1993.

We believe that this major International Conference on South African soil will be one of the most significant conferences ever held on the issue of South Africa. It will give us the opportunity not only jointly to work out initiatives that will ensure that democratic foundations are firmly established in 1993, but will also enable us to take measures that will help us consolidate and defend the new democracy....

President Nelson Mandela and other senior leaders of the ANC will also actively participate in the Conference.

I extend an invitation to you to participate in this historic Conference.