Address by Nelson Mandela at the 46664 CD launch

1 April 2004

Good Morning, friends. And greetings from Cape Town.

Today begins the second phase of our 46664 campaign – the launch of our very special CD and DVD.

This DVD is a recording of the wonderful 46664 concert that we enjoyed just a few weeks ago in Cape Town.

It features music and visual art from some of the world’s great artists, as well as messages from world leaders and from our supporters

The prison number I was given on Robben Island – 46664 – is being used in this campaign for a very specific reason. For the eighteen years that I was imprisoned on Robben Island I was supposed to be reduced to that number.

Millions of people infected with HIV/AIDS are in danger of being reduced to mere numbers unless we act. They too are serving a prison sentence – for life. So I have allowed my prison number to help drive this campaign.

Already more people have died of AIDS than in all the wars of the 20th century, and 8,000 more die each day. AIDS affects Africa more than any other part of the globe. Three quarters of the 40 million people worldwide infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, live in Africa. Many of them are young people. In fact, it is estimated that over 20 million African children will be orphaned through AIDS by the year 2010.

But where there is life, there is hope. There are medicines that help turn HIV from a death sentence to a chronic illness for those who receive treatment. There are other medicines that keep mothers and pregnant women from passing it on to their new born.

Our 46664 campaign aims to rid Africa of HIV and help those affected by AIDS. It marks a long-term commitment by my friends in music, business, government, charity and art across the world to do more by working together to fight this grave threat to our common future.

The proceeds from the sale of the 46664 CD and DVD will support the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The money will go towards improving the lives of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

By supporting the 46664 campaign you will help us secure a future for everyone, everywhere, a future free from HIV and AIDS.

Thank you

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation