It is a special honour to be invited by the Chairman and Founder FW de Klerk, on behalf of the Members, to take the Chair of the Global Leadership Foundation. In so doing, I pay tribute to FW’s vision of an organisation that would allow former leaders to help today’s national leaders to confront and resolve issues not dissimilar in scale and/or complexity to those which they themselves once faced, and to his energy, dedication and commitment to make that vision a reality.
More broadly, I take this opportunity to mark FW’s wider contribution to humanity. Armed with his imagination, sense of purpose and understanding of the need for dialogue, matched by his personal courage, skill and resilience, FW played a critical role in the enabling of his country to embark on an historic process of change. In so doing, he showed how dialogue and negotiation can resolve even the most difficult of challenges where there is a will to follow that path.
In accepting the GLF Members’ invitation to lead the Foundation, I recognise and applaud the work that has been done since its establishment. I also acknowledge the work that has been done to explore and implement new ways of fulfilling its fundamental aims. We will continue to draw on the wisdom that GLF’s Founder, FW, has passed on to us as we develop the Foundation and its work.
That work is ever more necessary as the impact of the pandemic takes its toll on the economies and societies of countries around the world. GLF stands ready to support leaders to tackle these, in addition to the range of other challenges they face. I look forward to working with our members, supporters and wide range of partner organisations to continue to make the difference which our Founder sought to make in establishing the Foundation.