Activities of Secretary-General in South Africa, 9-10 December

SG/T/2936
13 December 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in South Africa, 9-10 December

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in South Africa on Monday morning, 9 December, from France.

After meeting with the United Nations country team, he visited the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, which is a museum.  In remarks there, the Secretary-General called Mr. Mandela a giant for justice, equality and human rights.  He touched our lives deeply and taught us what is possible in Africa and across the world, he said.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15530.)

The Secretary-General also visited Mr. Mandela’s residence, where he offered his condolences to the former President’s family.

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General attended the State Memorial Service for the late former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at Johannesburg’s First National Bank Stadium.

In his remarks at the event, the Secretary-General noted that South Africa has lost a father and that the world has lost a beloved friend and mentor.  He said that Nelson Mandela was more than one of the great leaders of our time.  He was one of the greatest teachers, who taught by example.

The Secretary-General said that what stands out most is Mr. Mandela’s compassion.  He showed the awesome power of forgiveness and of connecting people with each other and with the true meaning of peace.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15533.)

He departed South Africa that evening to return to New York.

For information media. Not an official record.