Panafrican News Agency

Athens hosts conference in Athens in honor of Nelson Mandela

Athens, Greece (PANA) - An international conference was organised on Thursday in the Greek capital, Athens, in honor of Nelson Mandela the great champion of freedom, human rights, democracy and equality in African and the World.

The event was organised by the Marianna Vardinogiannis Foundation, in the context of the upcoming celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July.

"Nelson Mandela was the leader of the movement for the human rights of the citizens of South Africa but also the entire African continent," Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a videotaped message addressed to the event.

With his ethos and his struggle, he found himself at the leadership of a universal, timeless fight, for freedom, equality, dignity, democracy, and respect for human rights, Dendias added.

Mandela, the emblematic leader in world history, was not only a symbol of the oppressed peoples of Africa, but also of all the people who fight for dignity, Dendias stressed.

Looking to the future, the foreign minister added, Mandela believed in a struggle that would allow not just prevailing but also a great victory. 

Addressing the same event, President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, referred to legacy that Nelson Mandela left for younger generations, for the consolidation of democracy and respect for human dignity and human rights.

Sakellaropoulou emphasised both the lessons from the life and work of the South African leader and what the international community must do in the present day in order to eradicate inequalities and all forms of discrimination and oppression.

The UN General Assembly in November 2009 declared in a resolution "18 July Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

Th resolution recognises Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in conflict resolution, race relations, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice.

-0- PANA AT/MA 9July2021