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

Commemorative Events for 2016

New York

UN Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder debuts song for peace


Meeting of the UN General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly marked Nelson Mandela International Day with an informal meeting at UN Headquarters on 18 July.

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Public service activity

The UN Department of Public Information, supported by UN Women, marked Mandela Day in New York by helping women in need receive professional clothing donations, career counselling, child care, and nutritious meals.

To mark the day, UN staff volunteered for Citymeals on Wheels, which delivers meals to homebound elderly, and Safe Horizon, which supports women, children and men who have suffered domestic violence.

Staff also donated professional clothing and accessories to Dress for Success and Bottomless Closet, which help disadvantaged women in securing a job and achieving economic independence, and Career Gear, which supports men in poverty to become stronger contributors to their families and communities.


Around the world

UN information centres around the world organized events and activities to commemorate Mandela Day.

On social media, follow the hashtags #MandelaDay and #Time2Serve.

Accra, Ghana

UNIC Accra organized an event to engage the youth and enable them to appreciate the works and words of Nelson Mandela. The event included a brief performance on the fight for freedom by the drama club of the Senior High School of Accra Academy, as well as a video presentation on Nelson Mandela’s life, a message on the importance of the celebration, and presentations by selected students on their understanding of some Mandela quotes.

Dhaka, Bangladesh


UNIC Dhaka, jointly with the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh, organized a poster exhibition, video screening and interactive discussion at the UNIC Library with students from different universities.


Jakarta, Indonesia

UNIC Jakarata hosted an interactive discussion on “Women in Leadership,” emphasizing the need for gender equality in the workplace, in partnership with UN Women. More than 40 successful Indonesian women leaders came together to speak candidly about the challenges women face in the workplace and how they could contribute to women’s success and financial stability. This was one of a series of events promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #5 on Gender Equality.


Lagos, Nigeria

UNIC Lagos worked with the South African Consulate General, the Nigeria Prisons Service, the United Nations Association of Nigeria and the local office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to organize a discussion on the Nelson Mandela Rules with Prison Officers from five prison facilities, including a female prison. The UNIC also organized a symposium, a film screening and photo exhibitions with the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, the South African Consulate General and the United Nations Association of Nigeria.


Lome, Togo

UNIC Lome organized an briefing for more than 150 students on the role and importance of Nelson Mandela, followed by the screening of the films "Nelson Mandela's Life Story" and "Happy 95th birthday." In addition, a radio program on "Nelson Mandela, A Model Citizen and Politician" was produced to raise awareness among the general public.


Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

UNIC Ouagadougou participated in a donation ceremony for five reception centers for orphaned children. The donation included food, medicines and school materials, in the spirit of Nelson Mandela. Various government institutions, the diplomatic corps, international organizations, NGOs and associations participated in this charitable activity initiated by the Embassy of South Africa in Ouagadougou in partnership with UNIC.


Tunis, Tunisia

UNIC Tunis held an outreach event titled “Ending AIDS: 67 minutes for zero discrimination”, organized jointly with the UNAIDS country office and moderated by prominent sociologist and radio host Senim Ben Abdallah. The event was promoted on Facebook Live.


Windhoek, Namibia

UNIC Windhoek used Mandela Day to serve the elderly of the Katutura Old People’s Home. The team aimed to provide companionship and support to a generation that is commonly neglected and to allow them to share their stories and be heard. The UNIC also partnered with Combat Club, a local Muay Thai club, to educate girls at Jakob Marengo Tutorial College about self-defense. The event was officiated by the Namibian Ophthalmologist Dr. Helena Ndume, who encouraged the girls to help the country find solutions to end violence against women and girls and protect human rights. Dr. Ndume was one of the first two laureates of the UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize in 2015.


Yaounde, Cameroon

UNIC Yaounde held an educational discussion and film screening with more than 50 secondary school students aged 10 -18, to inspire them to become “Mandela’s friends” and take action to help change the world for the better and build a global movement for good.