The sixth annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture takes place tomorrow as the Nobel laureate celebrates his 85th birthday.
“We look forward to being back at the University of the Western Cape next year,” said Tutu’s daughter, Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth.
“This year, because of the unrest in the higher education sector, the lecture has been moved to an alternate venue, The Artscape Theatre’s Opera House.
“The student protests are an important indicator that we are failing to deliver on the promise of freedom, justice and a nonracial democracy. We will continue to see protests in one sector or another until we devote ourselves to taking the promises of our constitution from paper and acting them in the lives of all of our citizens.”
Hina Jilani, advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and United Nations special representative of the secretary-general on human rights defenders from 2000 until 2008, will deliver the lecture.
“She is a tireless campaigner for human rights and continues to speak out in defence of the vulnerable, in particular women, children and political prisoners,” Tutu’s foundation said.
“She has received several national and international awards, including the Human Rights Award by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in 1999, the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women’s Rights in 2000, and the Unifem Millennium Peace Award for Women in 2001.
The Tutu lecture, inaugurated by the Dalai Lama by satellite from India in 2011, has since been delivered by Graca Machel, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Tutu was hospitalised last month for recurring infection, following treatment received for prostate cancer.