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Nelson Mandela International Day: Nelson Mandela celebrates his 92nd Birthday

Geschreven op 18-7-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Agenda, Mensenrechten Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela celebrates his 92nd birthday on Sunday 18 July.

A day the United Nations is calling Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of his moral leadership.

It is the first time the United Nations has set apart a world day in honour of one person.

11 November 2009 – The United Nations has declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.The resolution was adopted yesterday by the 192-member General Assembly to commemorate the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s long-standing commitment to promoting conflict resolution, race relations, human rights, reconciliation and gender equality.

The Day will be observed annually on 18 July, Mr. Mandela’s birthday, starting in 2010 when the former anti-apartheid leader will turn 92 years old. By adopting the resolution, the UN expressed its appreciation for a great man who had suffered for the sake of people everywhere, said Assembly President Ali Treki, recognizing Mr. Mandela’s 27-year imprisonment, most of which was spent in the notorious Robben Island detention centre off the coast of Cape Town.

After his release from prison in 1990, Mr. Mandela became the first President elected in a fully representative democratic ballot in post-apartheid South Africa, holding office from 1994 to 1999 in accordance with the country’s Constitution.

The United Nations had last year agreed to commemorate Mandela’s birthday every year to recognise the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting race relations, human rights and reconciliation.

Ninety-two children aged from six to 12 from southern South Africa were flown courtesy of the national carrier to visit the ailing icon at his Johannesburg home on the eve of his birthday. They sang him a birthday song.

In a statement, Mandela’s office quotes him as saying, “I like being with young children”.

Mandela was jailed for 27 years by the country’s white minority government for resisting apartheid rule. On his release in 1990, he led negotiations with apartheid rulers, a process that culminated in his election as the country’s first black president in 1994.

He stepped down as president in 1999, after serving one term in office and is still revered around the world for promoting peace and fighting against racism and HIV/Aids.

South Africa celebrated the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison on February 11, a day credited with shaping the history of the country.

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, is expected to address thousands of villagers at Mandela’s birthplace Mvezo on Sunday.

“Mandela’s 67 years of uninterrupted and selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world culminated in the birth of a new South Africa, united in diversity,” Zuma said in a statement.

People around the globe have been urged to devote 67 minutes on Sunday to public service, to honour Mandela’s 67 years of service.

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