draw inspiration from Mandela to build better world: UN chief

United Nations, July 18 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called upon people across the globe to draw inspiration from the late South African president, Nelson Mandela, in a bid to “build a better world for all”.

He made the appeal in his statement on Nelson Mandela International Day, which falls on July 18, reported Xinhua.

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual call to action for people around the world to make a difference in the communities where they live and work by taking time to serve others,” the statement said.

The theme behind the day — “Take action, Inspire change” — highlights the importance of working together to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world, it said.

“Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice,” it said. “The United Nations joins the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18 July — Madiba’s birthday — to a community service activity.”

A South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist, Mandela served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was born on July 18, 1918, and died on December 5, 2013.

“Mandela once said: ‘It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it’.Let us all continue, each day, to draw inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life-long example and his call to never cease working to build a better world for all,” the statement said.

It also said that this year, the UN is bestowing the first ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, established by the General Assembly. “This honorary award will be presented every five years to two individuals — a man and a woman — who through their dedication, hard work and compassion have built on Madiba’s legacy.”

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared July 18 the “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

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