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

Commemorative Events for 2012

New York

An informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters on the morning of 18 July was devoted to “Building a Caring World – Nelson Mandela’s Vision.”

Speakers included Mr. Jeff Radebe, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa; Professor Ibrahim Gambari, last Chair of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid; Dr. Enuga Reddy, former Principal Secretary of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid; and Ms. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former member of the anti-apartheid movement.

Two South African graduate students at the University of Cape Town Opera School, Mr. Thesele Kemane, a bass baritone, and Ms. Bongiwe Nakani, a mezzo soprano, performed during the General Assembly meeting.

Watch the archived webcast of the event.

In keeping with the theme of "Take Action! Inspire Change", staff from UN Headquarters in New York volunteered at the Bowery Mission, preparing and serving food to homeless men and women.

Download the Media AdvisoryPDF document and the Press ReleasePDF document

General Assembly hall

The UN General Assembly marked Nelson Mandela
International Day at a special meeting on 18 July 2012

A large banner at the visitors entrance to UN Headquarters encouraged visitors to devote 67 minutes of their time to public service in honour of Mr. Mandela.

UN volunteers handed out postcards to passers-by on the south-east corner of 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue -- the corner was named “Nelson and Winnie Mandela Corner” in 1984, in recognition of their fight against apartheid in South Africa.

And in Harlem, ProjectArt, an after-school, weekends and summer visual arts education program for children and youth, marked the day by teaching 30 children aged 4 to 12 about Nelson Mandela and having them write notes and make drawings inspired by Mr. Mandela.