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Nelson Mandela Day: Everything to know with Prince Harry and Meghan to participate

Nelson Mandela Day: Everything to know with Prince Harry and Meghan to participate

This year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to return to New York City next week, where they will make an appearance at the United Nations.

The Duke of Sussex is scheduled to give a speech at the UN General Assembly on 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day. Prince Harry’s speech will reportedly touch on the effects of climate change and world hunger.

In a statement, a UN spokesperson said: “The South African Mission has confirmed the participation of the Duke and the Duchess at Monday’s commemoration.”

Here’s everything you need to know about Nelson Mandela International Day.

When is Nelson Mandela International Day?

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.

What is Nelson Mandela International Day and why is it celebrated?

Nelson Mandela with Desmond TuTu

/ AP

Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated each year to shine a light on the legacy of a man who changed the 20th century and helped shape the 21st.

The core principles of Mandela’s work were a profound belief in the equality and dignity of every woman and man. A relentless engagement for dialogue and solidarity across all lines and divisions. Nelson Mandela was a great statesman, a fierce advocate for equality, the founding father of peace in South Africa.

To mark the first global celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009, Mandela’s 91st birthday, a series of educational, art exhibit, fund-raising and volunteer events leading up to a concert at Radio City Music Hall on 18 July were organised by the 46664 concerts and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Who was Nelson Mandela?

PA

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist who served as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election, and his government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by fostering racial reconciliation.

Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant uMkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and, following the Rivonia Trial, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state.

Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. A controversial figure for much of his life, he gained international acclaim for his activism and became globally regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, receiving more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize.

What are Nelson Mandela’s best quotes?

  • “It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.”
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
  • “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.”
  • “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
  • “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.”
  • “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.”
  • “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
  • “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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