© UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
2015 Commemorative Events
UN General Assembly Meeting — NYC
UN Headquarters, 24 July —
A special meeting marked Nelson Mandela International Day and, as part of the annual commemoration, an inaugural award ceremony to the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize 2015 laureates took place at the Trusteeship Council Chamber in New York. Speakers included Ruhakana Rugunda (Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda), Sam Kahamba Kutesa (GA President), Susana Malcorra (UN Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet), Kingsley Mamabolo (Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN) and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
- Secretary-General's Message for 2015
- Statement by the GA President
- S-G's Message to the NMID Annual GA Commemoration and the UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize Award Ceremony (Delivered by Ms. Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet)
- S-G's message to opening of UN Food Garden (Delivered by Ms. Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet)
- Remarks by Dr. Helena Ndume, 2015 UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize Laureate (PDF )
- Remarks by Mr. Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio, 2015 UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize Laureate (PDF )
- Press Release — S-G Says Organization Will Bestow First-Ever Prize to Someone Who Has Built on Leader’s Steadfast Belief in Justice
- Press Release — S-G Recognizes Inaugural Laureates of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize
- Press Release — ‘Let Us Plant Seeds of Peace’ Here, Around World, S-G Says at Opening of UN Food Garden
- Press Release — UN Awards First-Ever Mandela Prize
- UN News Center — First-ever UN Nelson Mandela Prize winners honoured by GA
- UN News Center — GA awards first-ever UN Nelson Mandela Prize to nationals of Namibia and Portugal
Public Service Activity — NYC
UN Food Garden —
Following the GA meeting, UN officials, the Mandela Prize laureates, and other dignitaries took part in a community service activity in the newly established UN Food Garden — officially opened by Ms. Susana Malcorra (Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet), Ms. Penny Abeywardena (NYC Commissioner for International Affairs) and Mr. Mitchell Silver (NYC Commissioner for Parks and Recreation).
Community Gardens Across NYC —
In New York, the UN teamed up with GreenThumb to send UN staff members to volunteer in the community gardens across the city planting seedlings, pulling weeds, and watering plant beds. Every year, as part of the "Take Action, Inspire Change" campaign on Nelson Mandela International Day, individuals throughout the world are encouraged to devote 67 minutes to helping others.
UNIC Antananarivo organized a number of events to mark International Nelson Mandela Day. UNIC staff members officially opened the exhibition on Madiba at the Alliance Française de Tananarive. The playoff of the 67 Questions On Mandela for high school and university students were held at UNIC Antananarivo on 8 July. On 17 July, the UN System in partnership with the South African Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted diplomatic corps, government officials, civil society members, the medias and youth during the official ceremony of the Nelson Mandela Day.
UNIC Algiers organized a volunteer day under the slogan "Take Action! Inspire Change!" with the participation of staff of the Embassy of South Africa in Algeria, UN staff and 50 youth. They planted a "Nelson Mandela tree" and cleaned part of the Bainem forest to mark Mandela Day. In addition, there was a playful animation, with a drawing workshop for children, 25 July. To mark Nelson Mandela Day, UNIC Algiers issued honorary certificates to its partners in recognition of their commitment in the promotion of UN values.
To honour the memory of Nelson Mandela, UNO Almaty, the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Kazakhstan and the al-Farabi Kazakh National University (a UN Academic Impact Global Hub on Sustainability) jointly established and officially opened the Nelson Mandela Centre at the University's Faculty of Philosophy and Political Science. The Centre honours one of the greatest fighters for human rights, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and is expected to serve as a resource base and a platform to discuss global human rights. The opening ceremony was followed by a thematic roundtable, 14 July.
An exhibition tracing Mandela's life was set up with the support of UNIC Dakar and the "Madibaristes" (Senegalese youth who have "Madiba", as Nelson Mandela is known, as their role model) at the University of Dakar. The two-day celebrations marking the International Nelson Mandela Day included activities such as HIV/AIDS testing in partnership with the National Council for the Fight against AIDS; a blood drive, in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Centre; and a film screening on the life of Mandela, 23 and 24 June.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nelson Mandela Day was commemorated at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic ward in Tanzania. The event, which was organized by the South African High Commission and UNIC Dar es Salaam, drew members of the diplomatic corps, youths, academia, UN staff and the media, 24 July.
UNIC Nairobi collaborated with the South African High Commission to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day by spending time at the Little Sisters home, which cares for 78 residents whose age range to 108 years. Participants visited with its elderly residents, cleaning and cooking, with them. The UNIC Director and the High Commissioner presented small gifts to residents, as part of the effort to honour the International Day’s objective to "Take Action, Inspire Change", 16 July.
New Delhi, India
UNIC New Delhi celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day with students of the National Progressive Schools' Conference. As part of the collaboration, young artists created a series of captivating posters depicting Africa's rich and diverse culture.
Moscow, Russian Federation
UNIC Moscow and the South African Embassy organized jointly a special event to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day. Faina Zakharova of the Life Line charitable foundation described its mission of reducing children’s deaths from serious diseases and fostering a culture of philanthropy in Russian society, 17 July.
Pretoria, South Africa
To celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, UNIC Pretoria led the UN Communications Group to host a free screening of the acclaimed documentary "Mandela: The Passing of an Icon" in Pretoria. Based on journalists’ insights and thoughts, the documentary is a timeline of events that followed Mandela’s passing, and illustrates the unity and social cohesiveness of people around the world who were united in mourning. The event was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, government, NGOs and UN staff, 18 July. UNIC Pretoria produced a Mandela Day building banner which was placed on the UN Building, in a busy intersection in Pretoria for the entire month of July. The banner, visible to hundreds of people passing by every day, serves as a reminder of Mandela’s role and contribution to unity and social cohesion in South Africa.