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    UNIS/SGSM/1151
    16 July 2021

    The Secretary-General

    Message on Nelson Mandela International Day

    18 July 2021

    Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of a legendary global advocate for dignity, equality, justice and human rights.

    Each year, on this day, Nelson’s Mandela’s birthday, we pay tribute to this extraordinary man who embodied the highest aspirations of the United Nations and the human family.

    Madiba’s calls for solidarity and an end to racism are particularly relevant today, as social cohesion around the world is threatened by division.

    Societies are becoming more polarized, with hate speech on the rise and misinformation blurring the truth, questioning science and undermining democratic institutions.

    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has 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 marginalized 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.

    No one is safe until all are safe.  And each of us has a part to play.

    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.

    Let us all honour Madiba’s call to action and be empowered by his legacy.

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