On Thursday, the world marks Nelson Mandela International Day. People in participating nations remember Mandela’s message that everyone has the power to make an impact on the planet.
Nelson Mandela was an “extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality” who anyone in public service should seek to emulate, Secretary-General António Guterres said marking the International Day that honours the anti-apartheid campaigner.
“As one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice, “the UN chief said.
Mr. Guterres added that with hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world, Nelson Mandela’s calls for social cohesion and an end to racism are particularly relevant today.
In 2018 the UN in New York hosted the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the General Assembly week, where some 100 Heads of State and Government, Ministers and Member States, adopted a political declaration to redouble efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world.
The declaration, which recognized the period from 2019 - 2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace, saluted Mandela for his humility and compassion.
They also acknowledged his contribution to the struggle for democracy and the promotion of a culture of world peace.
The General Assembly will commemorate the day with an informal meeting featuring remarks by the President of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General and others.
In South Africa, The Nelson Mandela Foundation said it would be working in Ekurhuleni to support four local charities in the area which focus on shelter, early childhood development, food and nutrition and active citizenship.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will kick-start the day by visiting RX Radio, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital radio station that is staffed by children at the hospital in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
The ANC caucus in the Gauteng provincial legislature will also be celebrating the day helping out at a school for children living with disabilities in Mamelodi.