Press Releases

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UNIS/SGSM/283
15 July 2011

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Nelson Mandela has Been that Role Model for Countless People Around the World"

Message on Nelson Mandela International Day,
18 July 2011

VIENNA, 18 July (UN Information Service) - 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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