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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
United Nations honours Nelson Mandela’s
legacy at new General Assembly session

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that Nelson Mandela embodied the highest values of the world body, in remembrance of the late South African leader who was a hallmark in the fight against apartheid. 

In his remarks to the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit held during the ongoing UN General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting, the UN chief said Mandela “devoted his life to serving his community—as a lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, a peacemaker, president and a respected elder.”

“He cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in equality and harmony,” he added.

Guterres recalled the changes Mandela has brought about both to South Africa as well as to the world, saying “under his leadership, South Africa expanded access to healthcare, education, housing, water, sanitation and electricity,” and beyond South Africa’s borders, he “was a profound influence for peace and democracy.”

“Let us commit to build on Nelson Mandela’s legacy so that all people everywhere can enjoy peace, prosperity and inclusive and sustainable development,” Guterres said in concluding his remarks.

In December 2017, the UN member states decided to hold the peace summit to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.

Before that, in 2015, the UN decided to award the Nelson Mandela Prize every five years to two individuals who have made significant contributions to the service of humanity.

Also, each year, the UN observes Nelson Mandela International Day by promoting and engaging in community service.

Mandela was born in July 1918 and died five years ago due to a respiratory infection.

He had been imprisoned for 27 years for his role in the fight against apartheid and became the first black president of South Africa.

Earlier Monday, a statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at UN Headquarters by Guterres alongside Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, and Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, the president of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.

Gifted by South Africa to the UN, the life-size statue shows Mandela with his arms outstretched and bears his warm and broad smile.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

UN member states pledge to follow Mandela’s legacy in political declaration

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The United Nations General Assembly on Monday honored Nelson Mandela with a pledge to build a just, peaceful and prosperous world and to revive the values for which the former South African president and anti-apartheid campaigner stood.

At the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit held during the ongoing UN General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting, the UN member states adopted the first resolution of the General Assembly’s 73rd session, “committing to demonstrate mutual respect, tolerance, understanding and reconciliation in [their] relations.”

“We resolve to move beyond words in the promotion of peaceful, just, inclusive and non-discriminatory societies, stressing the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women and the meaningful participation of youth in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security,” the political declaration said.

The participating member states, many represented by their heads of state and government, also reiterated the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and said that they remain committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions—economic, social and environmental—in a balanced and integrated manner.

“Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security, and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. We reaffirm our pledge that no one will be left behind,” they resolved.

In his remarks to the summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Mandela embodied the highest values of the world body, who “devoted his life to serving his community—as a lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, a peacemaker, president and a respected elder.

“He cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in equality and harmony,” he added.

Guterres recalled the changes Mandela has brought about both to South Africa as well as to the world, saying “under his leadership, South Africa expanded access to healthcare, education, housing, water, sanitation and electricity” and beyond South Africa’s borders, he “was a profound influence for peace and democracy.”

“Let us commit to build on Nelson Mandela’s legacy so that all people everywhere can enjoy peace, prosperity and inclusive and sustainable development,” Guterres said in concluding his remarks.

In December 2017, the UN member states decided to hold the peace summit to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.

Before that, in 2015, the UN decided to award the Nelson Mandela Prize every five years to two individuals who have made significant contributions to the service of humanity.

Also, each year, the UN observes Nelson Mandela International Day by promoting and engaging in community service.

Earlier Monday, a statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the UN Headquarters by Guterres alongside Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, and Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, the president of the current session of the UN General Assembly.

Gifted by South Africa to the United Nations, the life-size statue shows Mandela with his arms outstretched and bears his warm and broad smile.

Mandela was born in July 1918 and died five years ago due to a respiratory infection.

He had been imprisoned for 27 years for his role in the fight against apartheid and became the first black president of South Africa.

.

Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled at UN headquarters

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- A statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the UN headquarters Monday to honor the 100th anniversary of the late South African president’s birth.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the ceremony that Mandela “embodied the highest values of the United Nations—peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity.”

His fight against apartheid “marks a landmark in human rights and freedom,” the UN chief added, thanking the South African government for donating the statue.

A high-level meeting, the Mandala Peace Summit, was scheduled for Monday at the UN for world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives.

The UN member states decided in December 2017 to hold the meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.

Mandela was born in July 1918 and died five years ago due to a respiratory infection.

He was imprisoned for 27 years for his role in the fight against apartheid and became the first black president of South Africa.

           

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