For information only - not an official document

16 July 2012

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Message for Nelson Mandela International Day,
18 July 2012

VIENNA, 18 July (UN Information Service) - Today, it gives me immense pleasure to say Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela has been a lawyer and a freedom fighter...

A political prisoner, peacemaker and president...

A healer of nations…and a mentor to generations of leaders and people from all walks of life throughout the world.

Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to bring change to the people of South Africa.

Our gift to him can - and must -- be to change our world for the better.

Today, I join the Nelson Mandela Foundation in urging each and every one of us to perform 67 minutes of public service on Nelson Mandela International Day - one minute for each year of Madiba's own remarkable service to humanity.

Tutor a child. Feed the hungry.

Care for your environment. Volunteer at a hospital or community centre.

Be part of the Mandela movement to make the world a better place.

That is the best way to wish Nelson Mandela a very happy 94th birthday.

It is the best way we can thank him for being such an inspiration to us all.

Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day.

* *** *