Africa We Want

Nelson Mandela International Day 18 July

What is Mandela Day and How did the day come about? In November 2009 - in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, UN General Assembly declares 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day”.

The heroes are those who make peace and build. - Nelson Mandela

Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

December 2015 - the General Assembly decides to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society, and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules” in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.

Mandela Day is an annual global celebration that takes place on 18 July to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. This day is a call to action for individuals, communities, and organisations to take time to reflect on Mandela values and principles and to make a positive impact in their own communities.

Nelson Mandela has many accolades. He’s  an iconic figure that triumphed over South Africa’s apartheid regime. He was a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, and an international peacemaker. And he was the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa (no biggie). So you see why the United Nations General Assembly would want to celebrate his life. Commemorated on July 18 — Nelson Mandela’s birthday — Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact. So, in honor of his 67 years of public service, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the U.N. ask that you spend 67 minutes of your time helping others.

Nelson Mandela International Day shines a light every year on the legacy of a man whose monumental achievements changed the 20th century and shaped the 21st. His values and determination — a deep commitment to human rights, freedom, and justice — are reflected on, and are a source of inspiration for others. Mandela advocated for the rightful dignity and equality of every living person, and encouraged engagement and solidarity across all borders. His relentless pursuit for equality was paralleled with his status as the founding father of peace in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela remains a symbol of power by resisting oppression. In times of turbulence, Mandela’s legacy teaches everyone to choose dignity over humiliation, speak up during injustice, and forgive rather than hate. He once said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” In 2014, the Nelson Mandela Prize was established by the UN General Assembly — an award recognizing the achievements of those who went far and beyond to serve humanity.

Famous Quotes by Nelson Mandela

Here are some quotes by Nelson Mandela that inspires everyone to become helpful to others:

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”

“I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.”

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

Author: MANZI
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