Mandela is most admired in the world, says Annan

New York- US (PANA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said Friday the best gratitude to former South African President for his lifetime contribution is to follow his worthy example.
"If we could live up to just one fraction of the standards you have set for yourself, then Africa, and the world, would be a far, far better place," Annan said in a message to Mandela, who is celebrating his 85th birthday today.
The UN chief, who said he felt some trepidation in congratulating the African legend, said: "How do you properly congratulate someone who is probably the single most admired, most respected international figure in the world?" He said Mandela had inspired millions of people across several generations throughout the globe and "worked tirelessly for healing and reconciliation, for peace and development, for right of every child to health and education.
" In his contribution to a book to mark Mandela's birthday anniversary, Annan wrote: "I cite his ready willingness to embrace and reconcile with those who persecuted him the most, and the grace with which he stuck to his promise to serve only one presidential term of office.
" He praised Mandela for leading a peaceful transition to a genuine, multi-racial, multi-party democracy firmly founded on a constitution protecting fundamental human rights.
"I cite his efforts, as President of the Republic of South Africa, to create the political, economic and social conditions needed to bring Africa the peace and prosperity it needs and deserves," Annan added.

18 july 2003 17:24:00

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