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A legacy of leadership

On Nelson Mandela International Day, UN urges action to change for a better world

Former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2008. He died on December 5, 2013, at 95.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2008. He died on December 5, 2013, at 95.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 is marking 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela – July 18, 1918.

The centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place”.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to action against poverty, honouring Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.

And United Nations officials today are paying tribute to the South African activist and peacemaker’s tireless efforts to end intolerance and injustice, calling on the international community to follow his guiding example in efforts to build a better world for all.

In 1962, Mandela was jailed for 27 years by a white-minority government as a terrorist and walked free as a septuagenarian.In 1962, Mandela was jailed for 27 years by a white-minority government as a terrorist and walked free as a septuagenarian.

He continues to inspire the world through his example of courage and compassion

“Nelson Mandela was a towering global advocate for justice and equality,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a video message to mark the day.

“He continues to inspire the world through his example of courage and compassion. Nelson Mandela was held captive for many years. But he never became a prisoner of his past. Instead, he poured his energy in reconciliation and his vision of a peaceful multiethnic, democratic South Africa.

“On this day marking the centennial of his birth, we commemorate Mandela’s lifetime of service. Rarely has one person in history done so much to stir people’s dreams and move them to action. That struggle for quality, dignity and justice continues. Madiba’s legacy shows the way.”

Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life to bring change to the people of South Africa. His accomplishments came at great personal cost to himself and his family. His sacrifice not only served his people, but all around the world, giving them hope to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. An even greater testament to Mandela’s influence would be for all world leaders to follow his example, encouraging States to write a new chapter of history by dedicating their time and talent to improving the lives of billions of people everywhere.

Amid increasing civil unrest, mounting international pressure and to avoid a possible civil war, Mandela was released from prison in 1990.Amid increasing civil unrest, mounting international pressure and to avoid a possible civil war, Mandela was released from prison in 1990.

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