Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 18:08 UK

Archbishop Tutu addresses Rotary

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The Archbishop also spoke of his last visit to Birmingham which was about 20 years ago

Anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has given the keynote speech at the Rotary World Peace Symposium in Birmingham.

He is among 20,000 delegates expected in the city over the next week for the Rotary International Convention.

The symposium at the National Exhibition Centre will discuss how to tackle challenges to global peace.

The archbishop chaired South Africa's truth and reconciliation committee following the end of apartheid.

Other notable figures attending the convention include Bang Ki Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, and the actress Mia Farrow.

Ahead of his speech, Tutu spoke to journalists about a range of subjects, including his last visit to Birmingham about 20 years ago.

MPs' expenses

He also praised Britain for being a "free country".

He added: "I mean, when the kind of information comes out as it did about what was happening in Westminster (MPs' expenses) - one - it came out, two - it had consequences.

"In a country that is a totalitarian country - you call it out and the culprit would have said 'so what', and that would have been the end of the story."

The Rotary World Peace Symposium has been predicted to bring in £20m to the West Midlands region.

Rotary International has 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide.

Rotary club members are volunteers who work to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training and promote peace.

The international convention lasts until 24 June.



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