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

Commemorative Events for 2014

New York

UN General Assembly Event

The UN General Assembly held a special meeting to mark Nelson Mandela International Day, featuring the President of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Gay McDougall.

Read the Secretary-General’s statement at the meeting.

Watch the archived webcast of the event.

Download the Press ReleasePDF document

Public Service Event

United Nations staff teamed up with MillionTreesNYC to tend to dozens of newly planted trees near UN Headquarters and in the community of East Harlem. 

Read the Secretary-General’s statement at the public service event.

Check out photos from the MillionTreesNYC public service activities.

UN Coverage


Social Media

UN News Centre Stories

UN Radio

Events around the World

The UN's network of information centres organized a variety of volunteer events and commemorations.


United Nations Information Service held a CinéONU screening at the Palais des Nations, Geneva "One Humanity" at 5 p.m. on Friday, 18 July 2014, followed by a debate.
Guests included Mr. Michael Møller, Acting Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG); Ms. Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN in Geneva.


The ‘Mandela Poster Project’ exhibition was launched in the Vienna International Centre. The 95 exceptional and thought-provoking posters designed by artists around the world mirror the achievements of Madiba and, by using symbols such as a dove, boxing gloves or broken prison bars, capture the key ideas associated with him. Coordinated by the Mandela Poster Project Collective, the exhibition will travel to 15 destinations around the world in 2014 raising money for Nelson Mandela’s Children's Hospital Trust Fund, which has been established to make his dream of building a hospital for underprivileged children in South Africa a reality.

The event was organized by the United Nations Information Service in corporation with the South African Permanent Mission and the United Nations Office at Vienna. The Nelson Mandela week will conclude with a screening at the UN Headquarters in Vienna of the documentary “Mandela: Long Walk of Freedom”, an intimate portrait which shows the extraordinary journey from his childhood as a herd boy to his election as President of South Africa.

Photos from Vienna

Vienna exhibit

El Fasher, Darfur

Peacekeepers from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) commemorated the day at a primary school in Al Salaam camp for displaced people near El Fasher, North Darfur. The occasion was marked by a Darfuri music performance, cultural presentations by UNAMID South African and Rwandese contingents and a tree-planting ceremony. Also, in the spirit of giving consistent with Mandela Day, UNAMID peacekeepers are renovating one of the classroom buildings at one of Al Salaam’s schools.

Read more here

boy putting up a poster

Khartoum, Sudan

Volunteers from Clean Khartoum Campaign, UNESCO Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair at Future University, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and United Nations Information Centre on 18 July organized a clean-up campaign at the Green Yard, Khartoum. Volunteers dedicated 67 minutes of their time explaining the significance of the day, cleaning up the Green Yard and urging visitors to help keep public areas clean. The event concluded with an awareness-raising and entertainment programme supported by MTN Telecommunication Company that included a screening of the short film titled “Nelson Mandela Carrying on his Legacy”, a quiz competition on the life of Nelson Mandela and a comedy show.

The United Nations Information Centre, UN Volunteers, and staff of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa launched the renovation of the Elgeriaf Reformatory, Khartoum, where children under the age of fifteen receive care and training. The volunteers concluded the day with a collective Ramadan iftar along with the children.