Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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This year’s Nelson Mandela International Day remembers, promotes and will now award service

2015 07 18 Mandela

18.7.2015 Today the world celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day and remembers his dedication to democracy, racial justice and service to humanity. On this day, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, people everywhere are encouraged to devote 67 minutes of their time helping people in any form of community service.

Each minute of this service honors the 67 years Mandela dedicated to public service as a prisoner of conscience, defender of human rights, peacemaker and as President. Joining in this service, UN staff volunteers are partnering with a range of community organizations this year,  including Serve the City Geneva in Geneva and GreenThumb, East New York Farms and the UN Food Garden in New York.

2015 07 18 Mandela DayThis year will also see the first-ever awarding of the UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize at UN Headquarters this Friday, 24 July. The two laureates are Doctor Helena Ndume of Namibia and Former President Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio of Portugal. For more information about the events planned, Mandela’s life and the extraordinary service of these laureates, you can visit the UN’s website devoted to this international day.

When UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/64/13 in November of 2009, it sought to recognize, “Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, as a humanitarian, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities.” It also aimed to acknowledge, “Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.”  Engaging in this year’s service events or independently in one's own community is a wonderful way to recognise, acknowledge and follow Mandela’s example.

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