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JOINT STATEMENT ON THE NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY PANEL DISCUSSION
2012/09/21
This statement is presented on behalf of the following countries: Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cuba, DPRK, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russian Federation,South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand,Venezuela,Vietnam, Zimbabwe and China.
 
From the onset, we wish to commend the decision by the General Assembly to honour former President Mandela of South Africa by proclaiming his birthday, 18 July an International Day.  True to the person of Nelson Mandela, the Nelson Mandela International Day is aimed at inspiring individuals to take action to give back to society, thereby contributing to changing the world for the better in service to humanity. 
 
Madame President,
 
Nelson Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life to the service of humanity as a lawyer, political prisoner and contributed internationally to a culture of democracy, peace, tolerance, reconciliation, racial and social justice, poverty eradication as well as the promotion of the rights of other vulnerable groups such as children. It is these values which can contribute not only to the work of the Human Rights Council, but also the work of the United Nations system as a whole.
 
We are therefore grateful that the Panel Discussion today focuses on Nelson Mandela's values with a view to their mainstreaming within the United Nations system and other International Organizations, as well as to contribute meaningfully to the promotion and protection of human rights. Hopefully this opportunity to reflect on his values will help to strengthen constructive international dialogue, justice, tolerance, peace and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, scourges which continue to afflict our societies.
 
We wish to address the following question to the panellists present here today. What role do you envisage for your organization in promoting Nelson Mandela's values?
 
Finally, allow us to conclude by quoting Nelson Mandela from his address on receiving the International Gandhi Peace Prize, 2000, "If there is one thing this world needs above all, then it is a committed move towards universal peace and friendship."
 
I thank you

 

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