The global community will Saturday celebrate the Nelson Mandela International Day, in commemoration of the life of Nelson Mandela – a fierce advocate for equality and the first black president of South Africa – for his deep commitment to justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms, under the theme; “Take action, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day”.
In November 2009, in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, the UN General Assembly declared July 18 as “Nelson Mandela International Day.” The day recognizes Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity: conflict resolution; race relations; gender equality; promotion and protection of human rights; the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; and the promotion of social justice.
In 2015, the scope of the day’s celebration was further extended to include promoting humane conditions of imprisonment, raising awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society, and the need to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.
In commemoration of this day, the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture will be delivered by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday, under the theme; ” Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A New Social Contract for a New Era.” For the first time, the annual lecture would be be an online-only event, due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, in order to make this event uniquely engaging, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said it would be providing viewers with a specially curated annual lecture experience via her website, including live expert commentary from esteemed international journalists and commentators.
As countries across the world struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19, which has resulted in a new social and economic challenges as well as exacerbating old ones, the Foundation said: “We call on you to be an active citizen in your community, individually or as part of one of the millions of groups getting together to start initiatives around delivering food parcels, making masks and protective gear, teaching online or making donations towards these efforts.
“We will share the successes we have achieved and the lessons we have learned as we battle this pandemic, and its effect on those less fortunate than ourselves. In the memory of this day which serve as a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact, we call on you to contribute to the Each1Feed1 campaign, join a community initiative or start your own. And, most of all, stay safe.”
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