Media Statement

UN Commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day

18 July 2013

In 2009, South Africa initiated and led a process that saw the United Nations General Assembly designating 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day. It was decided that the General Assembly will annually observe this day in a special session. This year also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Rivonia Trial – a seminal event in South Africa’s liberation. HE President Jacob Zuma has invited struggle veteran Mr. Andrew Mlangeni, a comrade, compatriot and fellow Rivonia trialist of former President Mandela to represent the Government of South Africa at the special sitting of the General Assembly as the keynote speaker.  The Programme speakers include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, the President of the General Assembly, Mr Vuk Jeremic, former President of the United States, Mr Bill Clinton, and legendary musician, Mr Henry Belafonte.

This year’s commemoration of the International Mandela Day takes on a particular significance in the count-down to South Africa’s 20th Anniversary of liberation.  The best way to celebrate Madiba’s life is to observe the ideals his life encapsulate: freedom, democracy and dignity for all. Madiba’s leadership transcended all human boundaries, whether based on race, clan, ethnicity or religion. 

For further information on the United Nations’ world-wide activities to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day, please visit the UN website:

For more information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974


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