Jerusalem24 – For over a decade, the United Nations has marked 18 July as Mandela Day, an annual, international day honoring the life and work of Nelson Mandela.
The first Mandela Day was marked on his birthday, 18 July 2010. It is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honor the legacy of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, and his values, through volunteering and community service.
It is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video released on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, said that “he remains a moral compass and reference to us all.”
“Madiba walked the path of freedom and dignity with steely determination and with compassion and love.”
Video message by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day 2022.
Nelson Mandela was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause, in part due to the parallel between the struggles of Palestinians and Black South Africans in their respective homelands.
He most famously said, during a speech in Pretoria in 1997, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
A statue of Mandela stands in Ramallah’s Al-Tireh neighborhood in the occupied West Bank, in honor of Mandela’s legacy.