This year on 18 July — Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday — the UN is joining a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
“Today, I join the Nelson Mandela Foundation in urging each and every one of us to perform 67 minutes of public service on Nelson Mandela International Day – one minute for each year of Madiba’s own remarkable service to humanity,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message on the International Nelson Mandela Day.
In Brussels, UNRIC, with the support of the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Embassy of South Africa, will mark the day with Exhibit panels, featuring background on the Day and suggestions for 67 minutes of service. A photo slide show will also be screened with a selection of quotes by Mr. Mandela.
A dedicated 'post' box will be available at the exhibit site and throughout the day, the public will also be able to write a message to Mr. Mandela that will be sent to him through the South African Embassy in Brussels.
If you can't attend the exhibition in Brussels, you are welcome to submit your message to Nelson Mandela via the UN in Brussels Facebook page and we will put it in the 'post' box for you.
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
The General Assembly resolution recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the 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 acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
These are some of the things you can do to celebrate the Mandela Day: Tutor a child. Feed the hungry. Care for your environment. Volunteer at a hospital or community centre.
“Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day,” says Ban Ki-moon in his message.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
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