The United Nations(UN)’s Nelson Mandela International Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th July to recognise the contributions of Nelson Mandela towards justice, peace and dialogue and his role in Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity.
The day also marks the birth anniversary of Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela who played a major role in creating a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.
The day is also known as “Mandela Day”.
The 2021 Mandela Day marks the 103rd birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.
The theme of the 2021 Nelson Mandela International Day is “One Hand Can Feed Another”.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/64/13 on 10th November 2009 and proclaimed July 18th of every year as Nelson Mandela International Day.
ii.The first UN’s Nelson Mandela International Day was observed on 18th July 2010.
iii.The resolution also acknowledged the international campaign of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and other related organisations on observing the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela as “Mandela Day” on 18th July 2009.
About Nelson Mandela:
i.Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was born as Rolihlahla Mandela in the Madiba clan in Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape.
ii.He was fondly known as ‘Madiba’ which in Xhosa means “Father of the Nation”.
iii.On 10th May 1994, he was inaugurated as the first democratically elected President of South Africa and also the first black president of the country.
iv.He set up the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in 1995 and has also established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999 and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation in 2003.
i.He jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with Frederik Willem de Klerk for peacefully bringing down the Apartheid system and establishing the groundwork for democracy.
ii.Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour was presented to him in 1990.
iii.He has also received more than 250 additional honours.
Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace:
The UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/73/1 on 24th September 2018 during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit and recognised the period from 2019 to 2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.
Nelson Mandela Prize:
i.The UN established the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, in 2014 which will be presented once every 5 years as a tribute to the achievements and contributions of 2 laureates (one female and one male).
ii.The prize was awarded for the first time in 2015 and for the 2nd time in 2020.