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

Commemorative Events for 2014

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

Antananarivo, Madagascar

From 14 to 17 July 2014, the South African Embassy and the UN System with partners from the public, private sectors and civil society donated blankets, food, drinks, clothes, and other gifts for orphans, old persons, female and underage prisoners and sick children. The donations, stored and inventoried by UNIC Antananarivo were made in compliance with the theme of the celebration “Take action! Inspire change!”. The official ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nelson Mandela Day in the presence of diplomats and Government officials as well as donor representatives. The commemoration included theatre, projections, drama and poetry. All events were open to the public and a Mandela exhibition was organized by UNIC Antananarivo in the Town Hall Yard where the film A Long Walk to Freedom was projected late in the evening.

Antananarivo, Madagascar

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.


Pretoria, South Africa

UNIC Pretoria was joined by UNFPA, ILO, UNDP, UNHCR and the World Bank in organizing a series of commemorative activities for the Day. The UN building in central Pretoria was emblazoned with a large, bright Nelson Mandela Day banner. The Kaya FM 67km Relay for Mandela Day in Johannesburg on 13 July 2014 kicked off the activities with about 40 UN staff participating. With over 17,000 participants, the race was one of the largest ever held in Africa and the UN was well-branded with staff wearing blue UN vests and gathering under a UN gazebo. Other activities included a screening of the documentary ‘The Vula Connection’ which tells the story of the underground activities of the liberation struggle as messages were sent to Nelson Mandela in prison. Also, 600 books were collected and donated to two specific under-resourced schools. Handover ceremonies for the books took place at Bachana Makwena Primary School in Garankuwa and at Vlakfontein Secondary School in Mamelodi, on the outskirts of Pretoria.

Pretoria    Pretoria

Windhoek, Namibia


UNIC Windhoek, Namibia, took over two weeks to gather footage in the capital city from young people, asking them what Nelson Mandela symbolizes. The UNIC team visited schools and university campuses to advocate about the importance of the day and also explore the true meaning of Nelson Mandela for young people. The fifth graders of the primary school virtually knew everything about the icon. The most interesting responses were when they had to describe in in ONE word. In addition, UNIC Windhoek sent out 300 sms messages to a targeted database to raise awareness on Nelson Mandela Day.

Namibia - girl holding a sign