Nelson Mandela International Day observed globally

Jul 18, 2017 09:50 IST

18 July: Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day was observed across the world on 18 July 2017, the day the great South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela, also the late President of the nation, was born.

The day is observed annually with the slogan “Take Action! Inspire Change.” Every year on the day, the United Nations asks individuals around the world to mark the day by making a difference in their communities. The day is an occasion for everyone to take the responsibility to change the world for the better.

 Nelson Mandela International Day observed globally

This year’s Mandela Day has been dedicated to ‘Action against Poverty’ by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to honour Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.


• The UN General Assembly declared 18 July as "Nelson Mandela International Day" in November 2009 in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

• Nelson Mandela devoted his entire life to the service of humanity, as a human rights lawyer, an international peacemaker and as the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

• Mandela’s government focused on dismantling the apartheid system by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation.

• The General Assembly resolution recognized Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice.

• It also acknowledged his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

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Nelson Mandela Rules

In December 2015, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

The General Assembly resolution not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners but it also approved the revision of the name of the new order to "Nelson Mandela Rules" to honour the legacy of Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle.

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