“It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build,” — Nelson Mandela
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared July 18 the International Day of Nelson Mandela in recognition of the contribution of the former President of South Africa to the cause of peace and freedom. The Resolution of the General Assembly recognizes the values of Nelson Mandela and his dedicated service to humankind “in the field of conflict resolution, race relations, the awareness-raising and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, poverty alleviation and ensuring social justice.” The Resolution recognizes his contribution to the international struggle for democracy and assistance in the establishment of peace throughout the world.
On this Day, the world community calls on every person, within the framework of the celebration of Nelson Mandela Day, to spend 67 minutes (one minute for each year of Mandela’s public activities) to help each other, accomplish something good and meaningful. By celebrating Nelson Mandela’s Day, society pays tribute to those who fought and continue to fight for freedom, dignity and human rights.
In December 2015, the UN General Assembly expanded the significance of Nelson Mandela’s International Day and introduced the “Nelson Mandela Rules”, which defined UN standards for the treatment of prisoners. They provide for the complete prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.
July 18, 2018, marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, a man who has become an example of how every one of us can change the world for the better. After all, if we follow the simple rules of the human rights defender, we can create a society where human rights and freedoms become the highest value.