Nelson Mandela: ‘Synonymous with the struggle for justice and equality’ |

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Known affectionately as Madiba, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed Tell Celebrating the general assembly meeting International Nelson Mandela Day solemnly celebrated on Sunday – that he “embodies the highest aspirations of the United Nations and the human family.”

blur the truth

Ms. Mohammed said hate speech and denial of facts have become “prevalent in liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes alike,” “blurring truth, questioning science, and undermining democratic institutions.”

She pointed to a worrying trend that “People with little or no knowledge of historical facts are infected with the virus of misinformation and distortion and embrace violent ideology.s”.

And the COVID-19 This has intensified, undoing years of progress in the global fight against poverty and injustice, leaving the marginalized and disenfranchised to suffer the most, often blamed for problems they did not cause, she said.

It is our individual responsibility to follow Madiba’s example of humility, tolerance and compassion – Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

People of African descent, indigenous peoples, and ethnic or religious minorities – and those who fled their homes as refugees – bear the brunt of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, according to the UN official.

“These are the ills that Nelson Mandela stood up to to create his lasting legacy,” she said.

peace contract

In September 2018, the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at United Nations Headquarters brought together representatives of government and civil society who committed to redouble efforts for a prosperous, inclusive and just world and declared 2019 to 2028 the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.

“It is our individual responsibility to follow Madiba’s example of humility, tolerance and compassion, while championing democracy and peace around the world,” said the UN Deputy Secretary-General.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vital importance of human solidarity and unity, values ​​that Madiba has championed and embodied in his lifelong struggle for justice.”

With a turn for everyone, she urged the audience to be inspired by Madiba’s message that “Each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, harmony with nature, and dignity for all“.

personal note

The Deputy Secretary-General said that since her youth, when she was trying to find her way, Mr. Mandela had been a personal inspiration.

“As we reflect on Madiba’s life and work, let us stand and count. Let us borrow a leaf from his stubborn optimism in human endeavor.” “Let us honor his call to action and energize his legacy.”

Madiba’s ideals

President of the General Assembly Volkan Bozkir He said that in Life and Legacy, Nelson Mandela called for the “inherent dignity and equality of people”; Within and between nations, regardless of race, nationality or belief – universal values ​​enshrined in Charter of the United Nations and human rights treaties.

Since the Society is tasked with upholding and protecting these values, he said it was right “to gather here today to celebrate and promote these ideals and pay homage to Nelson Mandela”.

Mr. Bozkir said Mandela’s name was “synonymous with the struggle for justice and equality”, which must be remembered when considering the plight of 82.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, women and girls who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence, and intolerance. and racial discrimination that threatens to undermine the progress he fought so hard to make.

“As an international community, we must take collective action. Because we will not achieve goals 2030 AgendaWhile racism and discrimination persist,” the association’s president said.

“Act in the spirit of Madiba”

Mr. Bozkir said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great suffering to individuals and nations, put health systems under tremendous strain, created an unparalleled social and economic crisis and hijacked our development trajectory.

He added that in order to recover, human rights must be preserved for all, everywhere, and multilateral efforts must be intensified for fair and equitable access to a vaccine for all.

“Simply put, we must act in the spirit of Madiba, if we are to rebuild better,” concluded the association president.

Improve the lives of others

“Systematic racism has had a detrimental effect” on societies everywhere, Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said at the meeting.

Reminding the Assembly that Mr. Mandela used the Swahili scholar ubunti to explain that “to be free does not mean merely to cast off one’s chains” but to live in a way that enhances the lives of others, it offered the additional phrase, mimi ni koa sababu wewe ni – which translates as “I am because you are.”

“We are all connected, and an individual can only grow and advance through the growth and development of others,” she said.


President Nelson Mandela addresses the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly in October 1994.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

President Nelson Mandela addresses the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly in October 1994.

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