18 July 2014 - "Last year, the world lost one of its greatest leaders when Nelson Mandela passed away. We remember his legacy especially on his birthday, the 18th of July," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
This will be the first year that the world celebrates Mandela Day without the iconic figure himself being present. Since 2009, the UN has been celebrating the former President’s birthday – 18 July –in an effort to bring people together in the fight against poverty and to promote peace and reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela devoted 67 years of his life to serving humanity; he was a human rights activist, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president in a free South Africa. In line with Mandela’s sprit, the UN calls upon all of us to dedicate 67 minutes of our time day to helping others.
Mandela spent 27 years behind prison walls for having fought against the racist Apartheid-regime in South Africa, for which he later received the Nobel Peace Prize. His relentless fight against discrimination tells a hopeful story of changing the world to a better place.
Ban Ki-moon reminds us that:
“Apartheid is gone – thanks to Nelson Mandela, countless other individuals and the proud actions of the United Nations. But our planet and its people still face terrible threats -- poverty, discrimination, climate change, conflict and more. Nelson Mandela Day is a call to action. Together we can give great meaning to our celebration by paving the way for a better future.”
Each of us can celebrate Mandela Day by helping to address real problems in our communities, whether it’s through teaching a child, feeding the hungry, or taking care of our environment. As Mandela himself said: “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.”
Find suggestions on what to do on Mandela’s Day’s homepage!
Use the hashtags #MandelaDay and #Time2Serve to spread the word about your good deeds!
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)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485