The Secretary - General Message On Nelson Mandela International Day

18 Jul 2011

Everybody remembers – and, indeed, needs – an inspirational figure who has played a signal role in their lives. Nelson Mandela has been that role model for countless people around the world.

Nelson Mandela has been a lawyer and a freedom fighter, a political prisoner, a peacemaker and president. A healer of nations and a mentor to generations, Nelson Mandela – or Madiba as he is affectionately known by millions – is a living symbol of wisdom, courage and integrity. As we celebrate his 93rd birthday and this second Nelson Mandela International Day, I join with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in encouraging people around the globe to perform 67 minutes of public service on Mandela Day – one minute for every year of Mandela’s own service to humanity.

Nelson Mandela himself once said: “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” Let us embrace this message. Tutor a child. Feed the hungry. Volunteer your time at a local hospital or community centre. Make the world a better place. Together, the best way we can thank Nelson Mandela for his work is by taking action for others and inspiring change.

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