© Nelson Mandela Foundation/Matthew Willman
It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build. - Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918). The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.
9 July – 2 September
UN Headquarters, Visitor's Lobby
Exhibit "BUILDING ON THE LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA"
An exhibit honouring Mandela’s contributions to the main areas of work of the UN — peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development — will be on view at UNHQ from July 9 till September 2. The exhibit, organized by the UN Department of Public Information in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN, also illustrates initiatives taken by the UN General Assembly in recognition of the South African leader’s legacy.
- Exhibit panels >> (PDF )
Video message by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day 2018.
Looking back at the struggle against apartheid and the campaign for Mandela's release in which the United Nations played an important role — special programme for the first commemorative Mandela Day in 2010.
What is Mandela Day?
On July 18, every year, we invite you to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in your communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.
"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice"
"Rarely has one person in history done so much to stir people’s dreams and move them to action."
How did the day come about?
November 2009 - in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, UN General Assembly declares 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day". Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes 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; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
Nelson Mandela Rules
December 2015 - the General Assembly decides to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.
General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.