UN chief Guterres urges world to imitate Mandela’s legacy - The Naija Weekly

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Monday, July 19, 2021

UN chief Guterres urges world to imitate Mandela’s legacy


The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the world to emulate the legacy of late Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black President.

On Sunday, Mr Guterres said this in his message to mark Nelson Mandela International Day, globally celebrated on July 18, to shine a light on the legacy of a man who changed the 20th century and helped shape the 21st.

According to the secretary-general, the day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of “a legendary global advocate for dignity, equality, justice, and human right.”

“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.’

“Affectionately known as Madiba, his calls for solidarity and an end to racism are particularly relevant today, as social cohesion around the world is under threat of division.

“With hate speech on the rise and misinformation blurring the truth, questioning science and undermining democratic institutions, societies are becoming more polarised,’’ the UN chief said.

He added that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had made these ills more acute and rolled back years of progress in the global fight against poverty.

“As always in times of crises, it is the marginalised and discriminated against, who suffer the most, often while being blamed for problems they did not cause.

“The pandemic has shown the vital importance of human solidarity and unity, values championed and exemplified by Nelson Mandela in his lifelong fight for justice,’’ the UN chief added.

He urged the world to honour Mandela’s call to action and be empowered by his legacy.

The UN chief scribe 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 UN 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 value prison staff’s work as a social service of particular importance.


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