Mandela Day Observed

Ensure dignity, justice, human rights: UN

Diplomatic Correspondent

19 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Ensure dignity, justice, human rights: UN

Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of “a legendary global advocate for dignity, equality, justice and human rights”, the UN chief said on Sunday. 

“Each year, on this day, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, we pay tribute to this extraordinary man who embodied the highest aspirations of the United Nations and the human family”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message commemorating the 18th July celebration of South Africa’s first Black head of State. 

Urging the world to honour Mandela’s call to action and be empowered by his legacy, the Secretary-General, said: “Let us be inspired by Madiba’s message that each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, harmony with nature and dignity for all”.

In 2015, the General Assembly extended the scope of Nelson Mandela Day to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, raise awareness about the need to ensure prisoners remain part of society, and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

Through it resolution A/RES/70/175 the assembly not only adopted the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle.