We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.
– Nelson Mandela
Take Action! Inspire Change
NMF Photo/Matthew Willman
This year on 18 July – Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday – the UN is joining a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of our time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity – as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
Take action! Make your commitment to 67 minutes of service on Mandela Day.
How the Day came about
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson 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 upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
Mandela Day has been officially adopted by the United Nations as “Nelson Mandela International Day”. The resolution was unanimously adopted on November 10, 2009, with the support of all UN member states and co-sponsorship of over 165 members, from all regions of the world. This represents the overwhelming support of the entire international community in honouring Mr Mandela. We hope this signals the beginning of greater involvement by the global community in this movement for good.
Read the speech made by Helene Hoedl, Deputy Director of the UN Information Centre, which she gave at the launch of Nelson Mandela International Day on March 28, 2011.
Mandela Day is an annual international day of humanitarian action in celebration of Mr Mandela’s life and legacy. It serves as a catalyst for each and every person to realise that they have the ability to change the world through action.
It is not about creating institutions with huge infrastructure, but it is a global movement for good which recognises that positive change begins with small actions. These actions can range from a vision for creating peace and reconciliation to sharing food with a neighbour in need. Mandela Day is particularly geared towards people doing work in their communities and is not event-driven. It is not a holiday.
As Mr Mandela has reminded us, “It’s in our hands” to create a better world. We take inspiration from his example to take responsibility for ourselves and to understand our responsibility to others.
We would like to express our gratitude to the South African government for its efforts in making this international resolution possible.