14 July 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Take Action for Others, Inspire Change, Says Secretary-General, Urging 67 Minutes


of Service to Honour Nelson Mandela on International Day


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for Nelson Mandela International Day, to be observed on 18 July:

Everybody remembers — and, indeed, needs — an inspirational figure who has played a signal role in their lives.  Nelson Mandela has been that role model for countless people around the world.

Nelson Mandela has been a lawyer and a freedom fighter, a political prisoner, a peacemaker and president.  A healer of nations and a mentor to generations, Nelson Mandela — or Madiba as he is affectionately known by millions — is a living symbol of wisdom, courage and integrity.

As we celebrate his ninety-third birthday and this second Nelson Mandela International Day, I join with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in encouraging people around the globe to perform 67 minutes of public service on Mandela Day — one minute for every year of Mandela’s own service to humanity.

Nelson Mandela himself once said:  “We can change the world and make it a better place.  It is in your hands to make a difference.”  Let us embrace this message.  Tutor a child.  Feed the hungry.  Volunteer your time at a local hospital or community centre.  Make the world a better place.

Together, the best way we can thank Nelson Mandela for his work is by taking action for others and inspiring change.

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For information media • not an official record