UN: UN marks Mandela Day, calls for promotion of community service

New York, US (PANA) - The 70th anniversary of the UN establishment provides the perfect
opportunity to reflect on the life and work of Nelson Mandela, with a call to action for helping
others, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

"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 UN chief said in the message.

"Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice, and 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," Ban said.

He noted that the overall campaign slogan for the Day: "Take Action, Inspire Change", seeks to inspire people around the world to take 67 minutes of time devoted to helping others and, in so doing, empower entire communities and build a global movement for good.

"In the past, volunteers have helped to rebuild homes destroyed by hurricane Sandy in the New York, offered school supplies to children, prepared meals for the elderly, helped out in orphanages, cleaned up parks, and delivered computer literacy workshops.

"This year's commemoration came a week before the UN is set to bestow its first-ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize to two individuals - a man and a woman - for their service to humanity," the Secretary-General said.

Dr. Helena Ndume of Namibia and Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio of Portugal will receive the award at a ceremony to take place on 24 July 2015 at the UN headquarters in New York.

The UN General Assembly declared 18 July 'Nelson Mandela International Day' in 2009 in recognition of the former South African President's contribution to democracy, justice and reconciliation and to mark his birthday.

Mr. Mandela passed away in December 2013 in Johannesburg at the age of 95.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 19July2015

19 july 2015 13:37:51

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