Honoring Nelson Mandela- “Take Action, Inspire Change”


“Take Action, Inspire Change” is the theme of Nelson Mandela International Day which is celebrated today.


This day which coincides with Nelson Mandela’s birthday was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, honoring his commitment to democracy, racial justice and human rights.


“Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and work of a legend who embodied the highest values of the United Nations. Madiba was a model global citizen whose example continues to guide us in our work to build a better world for all.” Those were the words of Secretary-General to the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon in his message to mark the occasion.


The Secretary-General noted that today seeks to, “remember a man of quiet dignity and towering achievement who worked tirelessly for peace and human dignity.”


As the United Nations sets out to implement the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mr. Ban called on nations to seek to continue building on Mandela’s legacy of selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose.


As in previous years, the UN joins the Mandela Foundation in inviting people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes on 18 July to a community service activity.


“Tutor a child. Feed the hungry. Clean up a site or care for your environment. Volunteer to serve at a hospital or community centre. Be part of the Mandela movement to make the world a better place” the UN requested.


From this year, Nelson Mandela International Day also focuses on the rights of prisoners, conditions of imprisonment, and the value of prison staff – addressed in the Revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (“Nelson Mandela Rules”) that were launched in October 2015.

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