© UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
GA Informal Meeting
Secretary-General's Message — 2016
Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and work of a legend who embodied the highest values of the United Nations. Madiba was a model global citizen whose example continues to guide us in our work to build a better world for all.
Today, we remember a man of quiet dignity and towering achievement who worked tirelessly for peace and human dignity. Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to bring change to the people of South Africa. His accomplishments came at great personal cost to himself and his family. His sacrifice not only served the people of his nation, but made the world a better place for everyone, everywhere.
Nelson Mandela showed the way.
As the United Nations sets out to implement the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, let us seek to continue building on Nelson Mandela’s legacy of selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose. The United Nations joins the Mandela Foundation in inviting people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes on 18 July to a community service activity.
At the heart of Nelson Mandela International Day is volunteer work for people and the planet. Its theme – “Take action, Inspire change” – is meant to mobilize the human family to do more to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.
Tutor a child. Feed the hungry. Clean up a site or care for your environment. Volunteer to serve at a hospital or community centre. Be part of the Mandela movement to make the world a better place. This is the best tribute to an extraordinary man who, with his steadfast belief in justice and human equality, showed how one person can make a difference.
Let us all continue being inspired by Nelson Mandela’s lifelong example and his call to never cease working to build a better world for all.