18 July 2019 is marked as Nelson Mandela International Day, in honour of his struggle against apartheid, his struggle for freedom and social justice.
Mandela Day is marked every year on Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July. The day remembers Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He is one of the most well-known anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. He was jailed in 1963 for leading the liberation movement against apartheid and for his stance on the human right to live in freedom.
After his release, Nelson Mandela continued addressing racial issues in his country and supported reconciliation initiatives. His efforts resulted in him becoming elected as South Africa’s president in 1994. He remained in office as president until 1999. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. In 2007 Mandela formed the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major human suffering causes and promote shared interests of humanity.
The first Mandela Day was launched in New York on July 18, 2009, but the UN’s resolution to declare the day occurred later that year. On November 10, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring July 18 as “Nelson Mandela International Day”. The day marks Nelson Mandela’s contribution to peace through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights, international democracy and reconciliation, and in addressing racial issues.
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.
Nelson Mandela International Day is marked as a day for all to take non-violent action and inspire change.