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18. Juli - Nelson Mandela - International Day / Internationaler Tag für Freiheit, Gerechtigkeit und Demokratie

General Assembly President's Remarks / Rede des Präsidenten der UN-Generalversammlung - Secretary-General's Message for 2013 / Botschaft des UN-Generalsekretärs

Der 18. Juli, der Geburtstag von Nelson Mandela wird von den Vereinten Nationaen als Internationaler Tag für Freiheit, Gerechtigkeit und Demokratie begangen. Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir dazu eine Ansprache des Präsidenten der UN-Generalversammlung sowie die Botschaft des UN-Generalsekretärs Ban Ki-moon an die Welt vom selben Tag.

General Assembly President's Remarks

President of the General Assembly His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Opening Remarks

UN General Assembly Informal Meeting on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day

New York, 18 July 2012

Your Excellency Jeff Radebe, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development of the Republic of South Africa,
Ms. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and former member of the anti-apartheid movement,
Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Last Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid,
Ms. Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General,
Mr. Enuga Reddy, First Principal Secretary of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a distinct honor to join you in observing the Nelson Mandela International Day.

Today we celebrate the birthday of a giant of history.

President Nelson Mandela is a pillar of the peace, justice, and nonviolent movement.

President Mandela – “Madiba”, as he is affectionately known– embodies the very culture of peace espoused by the United Nations.

His legacy inspires the United Nations in its labors to improve social equality and justice, and to pursue peace through dialogue and non-violence.

He devoted 67 years of his life to the service of his people and humanity.

It was the moral force of President Mandela’s nonviolent stance that tore down the apartheid system.

His fight came at un-thinkable personal cost:

President Mandela served 27 years behind bars.

Yet, when he emerged from his detention in 1990, he resolved not to avenge the injustices of his oppressors, but to lay the basis for a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa.

Or, in his words, a “rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

As the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, President Mandela was an exemplary leader.

He believed in dialogue and inclusiveness.

He chose reconciliation, not retribution.

In doing so, he averted the very real prospect of civil strife.

The Government of National Unity that he presided over, and its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, became a model for transitional justice in post-conflict societies around the world.

Today, we see a world undergoing rapid change in the name of dignity, freedom and justice.

Millions in the Middle East have taken the path of nonviolent protest to defeat tyranny and achieve their political freedom.

President Mandela’s persistence in cultivating national consensus and social cohesion resonates deeply with the Arab Awakenings.

In this delicate phase of crafting new political orders, bridging society’s political and ideological divides will be the foundation of stable, democratic settlements.

President Mandela strove to achieve such an order, uniting South Africans behind the creation of what he called a “people-centered” society – one where people not only have the right to vote, but have bread and work as well.

Such fore-sight continues to inspire us today.

I would take this opportunity to mention the historical role played by the United Nations General Assembly in the global struggle against apartheid.

With its unique position as the world’s most universal, representative body, the General Assembly led the international community’s response, promoting anti-apartheid actions by governments and civil society and instituting an arms embargo – all the while drawing global attention to the inhumanity of apartheid.

The United Nations’ Special Committee against Apartheid, established by the General Assembly and courageously led by Mr. Gambari, became the preeminent vehicle for Member States to apply concerted pressure on the apartheid regime.

In such moments of crisis, success depends on the actions of remarkable individuals - such as President Mandela – and on the strength of our collective will, through organizations such as the UN.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The world is indebted to President Mandela.

His lessons are our lessons- lessons for today and for the leaders of tomorrow.

The Nelson Mandela International Day, proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 64/13, is therefore but a modest tribute to the sacrifices offered by President Mandela and by the many anti-apartheid campaigners who spoke out for justice.

I would invite all Member States, organizations of the UN system, and communities and individuals worldwide, to observe this day and to continue to carry President Mandela’s torch of freedom and unity for Africa and beyond.

Addressing the General Assembly from this very platform in 1994, President Mandela warned that we “cannot rest while millions of our people suffer the pain and indignity of poverty in all its forms.”

He recognized that freedom from poverty, hunger and disease, and access to quality education, are key to unlocking peace and development worldwide.

Let us rise to the challenge to realize his vision.

Happy Birthday, Madiba.

18. Juli: Internationaler Nelson-Mandela-Tag

UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon hat in einer Erklärung zum diesjährigen Internationalen Nelson-Mandela-Tag die Menschen aufgefordert, "eine friedliche, nachhaltige und gerechte Welt zu schaffen". Dies sei "die beste Art, wie wir einen außergewöhnlichen Mann, der die höchsten Werte der Menschlichkeit verkörpert, unsere Anerkennung zeigen können", so Ban.

Nelson Mandela, der am 18. Juli 1918 geboren wurde, habe 67 Jahre seines Lebens damit verbracht, für Menschenrechte und soziale Gerechtigkeit zu kämpfen. "In dem wir diesen Tag begehen, unterstützen die Vereinten Nationen die Mandela-Stiftung, die alle Menschen auf der Welt auffordert, am 18. Juli wenigstens 67 Minuten für das Gemeinwohl zu arbeiten."

Der diesjährige 18. Juli sei, so Ban, aber auch ein Tag des tiefen Nachdenkens über das Leben und Werk von "Madiba", wie der weltweit verehrte Politiker genannt wird. Der frühere Präsident Südafrikas wird seinen Ehrentag wohl im Krankenhaus verbringen müssen, wo er seit einigen Wochen wegen einer schweren Lungenentzündung behandelt wird.

"In dieser schweren Zeit sind unsere Gedanken und Gebete mit Nelson Mandela, seiner Familie und allen Menschen in Südafrika. Uns eint die Bewunderung für einen Helden unserer Zeit", so der UN-Generalsekretär in seiner Erklärung. "Wir wünschen ihm zu seinem 95. Geburtstag alles Gute."

Secretary-General's Message for 2013

This year’s commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day comes at a moment of deep reflection on the life and work of Madiba, as the universally revered leader remains in the hospital.

As we extend our best wishes to President Mandela on his 95th birthday, let us also give tangible meaning to our feelings of concern by taking action on behalf of others.

Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice.

In marking this Day, the United Nations is joining the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18 July to community service.

The heart of Nelson Mandela International Day is good works for people and the planet. Its theme -- “take action, inspire change” -- is meant to mobilize the human family to do more to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.

This is the best tribute we can pay to an extraordinary man who embodies the highest values of humanity.

At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mandela, his family and with all the people of South Africa. We are united in admiration for a giant of our times.

Ban Ki-moon

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