2018 — The Nelson Mandela Centenary
Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to "make of the world a better place." Mandela embodied the highest values of the United Nations. One hundred years after his birth, Mandela’s example of courage and compassion continue to inspire the world.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.
Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
UN Headquarters, 24 September & 2 October —
In General Assembly resolution 72/243, adopted on 22 December 2017, UN Member States decided to convene a high-level plenary meeting, to be known as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, focusing on global peace, in honour of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.
- Summit details
- Political declaration adopted at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit (A/RES/73/1)
- UN News — Countries pledge to be guided by Mandela’s legacy in working for a better world
- Press release — Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Unanimously Adopts Declaration, Resolving to ‘Move Beyond Words’, Redouble Efforts towards Peaceful, Prosperous, Fair World
UN General Assembly Meeting — NYC
UN Headquarters, 18 July —
The United Nations General Assembly marked Nelson Mandela International Day with an informal meeting.
- Secretary-General's Message for 2018
- Statement by the GA President
- Press Briefing — 'Nelson Mandela’s Teachings Needed More Than Ever' by Brenden Varma, Spokesperson for the GA President
- Press Release — Held Captive for Many Years, Madiba Never Became Prisoner of His Past, Says Secretary-General
- Press Release — Overcoming Poverty 'Is Not an Act of Charity, It Is an Act of Justice'
- UN News — UN marks 100 years since Mandela's birth with a vow to continue struggle for equality
- UN News — Mandela, 'true symbol of human greatness', celebrated on centenary of his birth
Public Service Activity — NYC
Harlem, NYC, 18 July —
UN staff and the diplomatic community worked in community gardens in the Harlem neighborhood, in a volunteer activity organized in collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. More than 100 volunteered to help with composting, weeding, mulching, watering and tree care in community gardens in Harlem – a neighbourhood Nelson Mandela visited several times on his trips to New York.
Brooklyn, NYC, 18 July —
UN staff joined students at the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice in Brooklyn to install new learning spaces.
Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 — South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 December —
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed will be participating in this free-ticketed concert to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela and honour his legacy in the fight to end extreme poverty.
Exhibit "BUILDING ON THE LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA" — NYC
UN Headquarters, 9 July – 2 September —
The exhibit honours Mandela’s contributions to the main areas of work of the UN — peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. It also illustrates initiatives taken by the UN General Assembly in recognition of the South African leader’s legacy.
The exhibit is organized by the UN Department of Public Information in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN.
Book Launch — NYC
UN Bookshop, 20 July —
"The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela", published this July, was discussed at the UN Bookshop, with editor Sahm Venter and Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela.
Special Event: Nelson Mandela at 100 — NYC
Symphony Space, 9 July —
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed spoke at a special event featuring readings from "The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela" and reflections celebrating Nelson Mandela's centennial birthday. The event was co-presented with PEN America and Liveright, in collaboration with The New York Times.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
In Colombo, Sri Lanka, UNIC and RCO staff celebrated Mandela Day at Zahira College with Puttalam Youth Model UN students, through interactive session highlighting Mandela’s values as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
In Geneva, Switzerland, more than 300 people attended a ceremony in the Human Rights Hall, and an estimated 2,000 people heard an audio clip of Nelson Mandela’s speech to the 1998 General Assembly, played at an outdoor concert in the city.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, UNIC, together with the Embassy of South Africa, helped out in a home for orphaned, poor or abandoned girls, assisting in the kitchen and garden, painting and cleaning, and presenting the home with supplies.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
In Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN family teamed up with the South African Embassy and civil society organizations to conduct medical screenings for glycemia, malaria, gynaecology, ophthalmology and AIDS at Saint Joseph Hospital.
In Lagos, Nigeria, UNIC worked with students to clean up Freedom Park, followed by a symposium in collaboration with the UN Association of Nigeria and Freedom Park Lagos.
In Manila, Philippines, UNIC in collaboration with the South African Embassy and other partners, planted 100 trees for Mandela’s 100 years.
Mexico City, Mexico
In Mexico City, Mexico, UNIC organized an exhibit at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance, in collaboration with the South African Embassy.
Moscow, Russian Federation
In Moscow, Russian Federation, UNIC hosted a ceremony and film screening as well as an event with more than 70 children with special needs, giving them a chance to try their hand in cooking, medical treatment, hairdressing, among others.
Pretoria, South Africa
In Pretoria, South Africa, UNIC staff worked with the Nelson Mandela Foundation on the refurbishment of a youth centre in Orlando, Soweto.
In Tehran, Iran, UNIC supported local NGOs and charities in train the trainer activities and teaching vulnerable children and people with disabilities. UNIC also organized a ceremony and published a UN Mandela booklet in Persian.