South African Anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela would have clocked one hundred and one years old today.
His birthday, July 18, is celebrated as an international day to commemorate his achievements towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.
The day also recognises the 67 years he spent in the service of humanity and the fight for social justice.
He died in 2013 and remains a global icon for his struggle against apartheid and his messages of reconciliation after 27 years in prison.
As “one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time”, the UN chief said: “Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice”.
“He lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them”, Mr. Guterres spelled out.
In November 2009, the UN declared 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day as a global call to action under the premise that everyone has the power to make an impact on the planet.
With hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world, “Nelson Mandela’s calls for social cohesion and an end to racism are particularly relevant today”, said the UN chief.
“As we work collectively for peace, stability, sustainable development and human rights for all, we would be well served to recall the example set by Nelson Mandela,” he asserted. “Our best tribute is found in actions”.