Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

Mandela 100 years

Nelson Mandela Foundation/Matthew Willman Nelson Mandela in February 2005.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Paying tribute to the first democratically-elected President of South Africa and iconic civil rights leader, the United Nations on Wednesday celebrated Nelson Mandela’s legacy for humanity and reflected on the lessons he left behind.

“He stands today as a beacon for universal values — peace, forgiveness, humility, integrity, passion, respect and service,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “Madiba showed us that these are not just words or vague ideals, but concrete actions that we can all take.”

In his tribute, the UN Chief quoted the anti-Apartheid leader’s declaration that “overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity.  It is an act of justice.  It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”

“Let us act on Madiba’s words,” said Mr. Guterres. “Let us recall all the promises we have made – in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda – and let us commit to honour our pledges. Let us work for the better world we know can exist,” he added, calling on the world to “persevere with commitment and conviction”.

The UN Chief went on to highlight the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the international community’s “roadmap” for creating a better world: “At its heart is a promise to end all forms of poverty and leave no one behind,” he said, noting that “we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.”

The prophet is no longer with us. But his teachings are. And we need them – now, more than ever – Miroslav Lajčák, General Assembly President

The President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, focused on the lessons that Madiba taught the world on the importance of dialogue, peace and tolerance.  “He showed us that dialogue and negotiation should be pursued relentlessly – no matter how deep the divides, or strong the hurt,” he said, regretting that “too often we have let peace slip through our fingers. And we have waited until it was gone, to act”.

“The prophet is no longer with us. But his teachings are. And we need them – now, more than ever,” he stated, denouncing the current global rise in intolerance, hate, inhumanity, racism, prejudice and discrimination. “We cannot be silent in the face of them. We need to push back harder – and to speak out louder than ever,” he appealed.

At the event, which took place at UN Headquarters in New York, tributes were also delivered by leading film actor Forest Whitaker, Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who highlighted Nelson Mandela’s ability to “turn enemies into partners”, and by Edna Molewa, South Africa Minister of Environmental Affairs, who cited his sense of “humility, forgiveness and compassion” as qualities that are “sorely needed in the world today.”

A centennial stamp was unveiled during the event, with another quote from Nelson Mandela: “It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“Only through energy policy we can trigger competitiveness”. The Sting live from #EBS2015: Energy Union – When will it happen?

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

Austria’s EU Presidency: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz aims to “build bridges”

Consumer protection: Deal on EU-wide rules for those sold faulty products

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

Two out of every five American couples now meet online

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

MEPs strengthen EU financial watchdogs

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Yemen: Security Council backs new mission in support of key port city truce

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire

The growing cyber-risk to our electricity grids – and what to do about it

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: sexual violence in conflict, a malaria vaccine trial, updates on Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, Sri Lanka and Mali

How Japan can take the lead with an ageing workforce

What do toilets have to do with climate change?

GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

High-technology manufacturing saves the EU industry

Why the financial scandals multiply?

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

Cyprus tragedy reveals Eurozone’s arbitrary functioning

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica: MEPs demand action to protect citizens’ privacy

UN chief commends African Union on adoption of institutional reforms

This new solar technology can be printed or woven into fabric

Oslo leads the way in ‘Breathe Life’ campaign for cleaner cities in climate change era

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

Earthquake: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

Worldwide terror attacks have fallen for the third year in a row

Trump doesn’t only target Germany, aims to crack the entire EU

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

Pride in practice: Equality in access to health services for the LGBT community in a third-world country

Here are 4 of the most politically charged World Cup games ever played

Prospect of a nuclear war ‘higher than it has been in generations’, warns UN

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

UN rights expert calls for civilian protection as fighting escalates between military and armed group

Why we need a new social contract for data in healthcare

What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

European Youth, quo vadis?

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

Remembering Kofi Annan

#TakeYourSeat at the UN Climate Change Conference: a way for all people to join the global conversation

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Colombia offers nationality rights to Venezuelan children born there: UN hails ‘very important step’

The ECB will do whatever it takes to set the Eurozone economy again in motion

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s