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UN chief pays tribute to Mandela, extols his legacies

Late Nelson Mandela

LAGOS- UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has described late Nelson Mandela as a colossus of courage, conviction and a leader of immense achievement and extraordinary humanity.

Guterres said this in his message to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day 2023, on the United Nations’ website.

NAN recalls that in November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day to shine the light on the legacy of Mandela, and his contributions to peace and freedom.

Nelson Mandela was the first democratically-elected President of a free South Africa who devoted 67 years of his life to the service of humanity as an international peacemaker.

Guterres said Mandela was “a giant of our times, whose legacy we best honour through action.”

This, he said included action to expel the poison of racism, discrimination and hate, action to extinguish the legacies of colonialism and  action to promote equality, human rights and above all, justice.

“Today, poverty, hunger and inequality are on the rise. Countries are drowning in debt.

“The climate crisis is destroying the lives of those who have done the least to cause it  and our unfair and outdated international financial system is not fulfilling its function as a global safety net.

“We have it in our power to solve each of these problems.

“So, as we commemorate Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy, let us be animated by his spirit of humanity, dignity and justice,” Guterres said.

He further urged the world to stand with women and girls, young people and change makers everywhere while also taking action to build a better world. (NAN)

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