Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 – July 18 – marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. The United Nations created the observance to remember South Africa’s first Black president and the nation’s first president elected in a fully representative election.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honoring Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.
George Johannes, South African Ambassador to Holy See Recalled the “Madiba” effect in a video released July 18, 2018, in Rome.
“He told me: If you are going to be a politician you need to be very disciplined and always keep the people in your heart,” the ambassador remembered. “You must never forget where you come from, you must never forget you are in a privileged position, and the people aren’t, so you work for the interests of the people.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also paid homage to Mandela in a video message released on July 18, 2018:
Text of Antonio Guterres’ messsage:
Nelson Mandela was a towering global advocate for justice and equality. 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 into reconciliation and his vision of a peaceful, multi-ethnic, democratic South Africa.
On this day marking the centennial of his birth, we commemorate Nelson 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 equality, dignity, and justice continues. Madiba’s legacy shows the way.