Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations has urged all to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day by helping to address real problems in their communities.
In a message to mark “Nelson Mandela International Day”, Mr Ban said last year “the world lost one of its greatest leaders when Nelson Mandela passed away. We remember his legacy especially on his birthday, the 18th of July.”
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18th July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
Recalling Mr Mandela’s visit to the UN headquarters in 1990 shortly after he was released from prison, Mr Ban said “Nelson Mandela’s presence in the General Assembly Hall proved that United Nations resolutions, sanctions and solidarity can win over violence and injustice. His extraordinary compassion after 27 years in prison showed that human rights and equality are stronger than discrimination and hate.”
The UN boss said that while apartheid is now gone thanks to the late Mr Mandela, many other individuals and “the proud actions of the United Nations”, the world was still full of problems such as poverty, discrimination, climate change, conflict and more.
“Nelson Mandela Day is a call to action. Each of us can celebrate this day by helping to address real problems in our communities. Together we can give great meaning to our celebration by paving the way for a better future,” Mr Ban said.