‘No neutrality in situations of injustice’- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Regent’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Simon Jarvis, presented the Awards in recognition of the Archbishop and Mpho’s outstanding contributions to human rights on Tuesday 3 May 2016.

Speaking before an audience of special guests from around the world, including the Mayor of Cape Town, the British Council and Regent’s graduates at the One and Only Hotel, Professor Jarvis said:

“Regent’s has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Archbishop and his Tutu Foundation UK, which holds its annual International Peace Summit at the University in London.

“Last month the Summit focused on resolving conflicts through mediation and brought together experts in international relations, human rights, psychology and mediation. Our special guest speaker was another of Desmond’s daughters, Nontombi Naomi Tutu.”

On receiving his Fellowship, Archbishop Tutu commented:

“Thank you Regent’s University London for honouring us in this way. We accept the award on behalf of all with whom we have worked, those in the trenches, so to speak, without whom you may never have heard of us.

“You can’t be neutral in situations of injustice – not in apartheid South Africa, not in Palestine and Israel, and not in Syria, Myanmar or Guantanamo Bay. If you claim to be neutral in situations of injustice, you have actually chosen the side of the oppressor.

“I will continue to speak out for justice and fairness until I die. If I were to stop I would regard it as a renunciation of God, and die of a broken spirit.”

'Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth added:

“My siblings and I were raised on a diet of love, compassion, servant leadership and human rights. It created a bit of a dependency; if deprived of these foodstuffs we feel empty. Thank you, mum and dad, and thank you Regent's University London for so generously recognising our work and re-charging our resolve to face the challenges ahead.”

Find out more about Regent’s MA programmes in International Relations and International Human Rights Law.