Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18
For freedom, justice and democracy

2010 Observance

Events at UN Headquarters in New York

(Commemorations around the World)

On 15 July, a film screening of MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation was attended by around 600 guests who participated in a post-screening discussion with the film’s producer, Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme and co-producer Peter Saraf. Nicholas Haysom, former Chief Legal Adviser to Mandela, spoke about working with the former South African President.

PHOTO: Jonathan Demme and Peter Saraf, producers of the film "MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation", being interviewed before the screening at UN Headquarters in New York
.  (UN Photo/Bo Li)

At the informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly on 16 July, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mshsabane, honored Mandela as the “Father of the nation” in her speech.  In addition to tributes from delegates, the event incorporated music, photos and video footage of Mandela.

PHOTO: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing the General Assembly commemorative event via video message at the UN in New York. 
(UN Photo/Bo Li)

“Mandela: Man of the People”
- an exhibit of South African photographer Dr. Peter Magubane capturing Mandela throughout his life - was opened by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mshsabane together with Dr. Magubane on Friday evening, 16 July in the Delegates Entrance and was on display through 23 July.

PHOTO: Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mshsabane cutting the ribbon to open “Nelson Mandela: Man of the People”, with Dr. Peter Magubane (at left) and South African Permanent Representative to the UN Baso Sangqu (at right) at UN Headquarters in New York.  (UN Photo/Bo Li)

Commemorations around the World

UN information centres, peacekeeping missions and political offices held events around the world, including:

Accra, Ghana

An evening of drama, readings and traditional dance and a screening of the film “INVICTUS”.

Algiers, Algeria

A conference debate with the participation of non-governmental organisations and the media.

Almaty, Kazakhstan

A roundtable discussion on the "Legacy of Mandela" and a screening of "INVICTUS”.

Antananarivo, Madagascar

A workshop with media, students and non-governmental organisations incorporated film screenings, presentations on racial discrimination and traditional South African music.

PHOTO: UN Club performing a dance for freedom and peace in Antananarivo, Madagascar  (Photo: UNIC Antananarivo)

Athens, Greece

A Nelson Mandela International Day commemorative poster in Greek was displayed in Athens Metro stations for a week, where it was expected to be seen by more than 500,000 metro passengers a day.

Baku, Azerbaijan

In collaboration with the American Councils, the Information Office held a screening and discussion of the movie “INVICTUS” with students from several schools.

Brazzaville, Congo

A panel discussion about Mandela, focusing on conflict resolution and race relations as well as a screening of “INVICTUS”.

PHOTO: The UN National Information Officer moderating the panel discussion in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo  (Photo: UNIC Brazzaville)

Brussels, Belgium

A screening of "INVICTUS” was organised, in cooperation with the South African Embassy to Belgium and Luxemburg and the Goethe-Institut.

Bujumbura, Burundi

A screening and discussion of "INVICTUS” was organised in cooperation with a Youth Centre in Kamenge, Bujumbura.

Dakar, Senegal

A panel discussion on the legacy of Mandela and a screening of the film “INVICTUS”.

PHOTO: Children from an SOS children’s village in the region of Louga, Senegal performing in honor of Nelson Mandela.  (Photo: UNIC Dakar)

Lagos, Nigeria

A screening of “INVICTUS” and a public forum for media, government and civil society representatives was held, featuring cultural displays and drama presentations by primary and high school students celebrating Nelson Mandela and his achievements.

Lusaka, Zambia

A photo exhibition on Mandela was shown together with a film screening and presentation by the High Commissioner on Mandela’s life. Students sang a composition dedicated to Mandela.

PHOTO: The South African High Commissioner with youth representatives and the UN National Information Officer at the celebration in Lusaka, Zambia
.   (Photo: UNIC Lusaka)

Manama, Bahrain

In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the National Museum, the Information Centre organised an official function with high-level dignitaries, followed by a public screening of “INVICTUS”.

PHOTO: Officials and guests at the Nelson Mandela International Day celebration in Manama, Bahrain. (Photo: UNIC Manama)


Moscow, Russia

Two screenings of "INVICTUS” were held, one at a special event in Minsk and the other at a youth summer camp in Kolomna, Moscow region.

New Delhi, India

A film screening of “INVICTUS”.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

A special TV programme focusing on Mandela was produced and aired on national TV with special guests the Secretary General of the Ministry of Human Rights in Burkina Faso and the Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Governance. An exhibit featuring photos, posters, brochures and films about Mandela was on display at the Information Centre.


Right:  Promotional poster produced by the UN Information Centre in Panama City

Pretoria, South Africa

The UN office participated in various official activities in South Africa for the Day.

Rome and Florence, Italy

A mini-exhibit of books, photos and South African artifacts related to Mandela was organised in cooperation with the South African Embassy in Rome and a screening of the documentary “Mandela Dance” was organised by a non-governmental organisation. A basketball tournament was held in Florence by the Nelson Mandela Forum, at which UN materials were disseminated.

Yangon, Myanmar

Two screenings of the film “INVICTUS” and a mini-photo exhibit on Mandela were held in conjunction with the American Center Yangon.

PHOTO: Setting up the display of the booklet "Nelson Mandela: In his words, Excerpts from speeches, 1961 – 2008” in Yangon, Myanmar  (Photo: UNIC Yangon)

Vienna, Austria

A film screening of "Invictus" took place in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of South Africa.

United Nations Mission in Darfur, (UNAMID), El Fasher, Sudan

An inter-community football tournament titled "Football for Peace" was held in El-Fasher, Sudan, preceded by a musical concert with Sudanese musician, Omar Ilhsas. The winning team was awarded the Nelson Mandela Peace Cup.

PHOTO: Fans are cheering for the two teams from Abu Shouck IDP Camp playing in the soccer final of the Nelson Mandela Peace Cup organized by the UN Darfur Mission in El Fasher, Sudan  (UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Abeche, Chad

Over 150 national and international staff, including military personnel, enjoyed a screening and discussion of “INVICTUS”.  The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his Deputy, the Force Commander and the military Chief of Staff were present.