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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
First Nelson Mandela Day to be celebrated around the world on 18 July
16 July 2010 / 05:06

[Dateline: New York | Author: DPI]

The United Nations will be marking the first Nelson Mandela International Day around the globe on 18 July, to celebrate the South African leader, who turns 92 this year, and his contribution to a democratic South Africa.

The General Assembly designated 18 July as Mandela Day last year  in recognition of his contributions to the creation of a "non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa…and his dedication to the service of humanity," as a humanitarian, a peacemaker,  an advocate for racial and gender equality and a champion of sustainable development. "He embodies the highest values of humanity, and of the United Nations," noted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "He changed the world."  This first international commemoration falls on Mr. Mandela’s 92nd birthday. 

New York Events

Mandela Day events at UN headquarters in New York begin on Thursday, 15 July, with a screening of the acclaimed documentary, MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation, followed by a post-screening discussion with the film’s producer, Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme and co-producer Peter Saraf.  The film will start at 6:30 p.m. in the ECOSOC Chamber in the North Lawn Building.

On Friday 16 July, an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly dedicated to Mr. Mandela will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall. The event will incorporate music, photos and video footage of Mr. Mandela. 

At 6:30 p.m. South African Foreign Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will open a photo exhibit: Nelson Mandela: Man of the People, in the Delegates Entrance Lobby. The exhibit features over 100 images by renowned photojournalist Peter Magubane who will also be present at the opening reception.  The exhibit will be on display through 23 July.  (NOTE: This event is for UN staff and delegates only)

PLEASE NOTE: Guests without a UN I.D. who wish to attend the Mandela Day events in New York (film screening and General Assembly commemorative event) must RSVP at by the close of business on Tuesday, 13 July.

Commemorations around the world

UN offices are holding Nelson Mandela International Day events around the world, including:

• Accra, Ghana, where the UN Information Centre is hosting an evening of drama, readings, and traditional dance and a screening of the film "INVICTUS" based on a true story about Mr. Mandela’s use of sports to unite South Africa’s racially divided society.
• Algiers, Algeria. The UN Information Centre is holding a conference and debate with the participation of civil society and the media.
• Almaty, Kazakhstan. The UN Information Centre will host a roundtable discussion on the "Legacy of Mandela" and a screening of the film "INVICTUS".
• Antananarivo, Madagascar is the site for a UN Information Centre workshop with media, students and non-governmental organisation, featuring films, presentations on racial discrimination and traditional South African music.
• Brazzaville, Congo. The UN Information Centre is sponsoring a panel discussion about Mandela, focusing on conflict resolution and race relations.
• Dakar, Senegal will host a panel discussion on the legacy of Mandela and a screening of the film "INVICTUS" arranged by the UN Information Centre.
• Lusaka, Zambia. The UN Information Centre is organizing a photo exhibition on Mr. Mandela life that will be shown together with a film screening and a presentation by the High Commissioner.
• Minsk and Moscow, Russia will be the venue for two separate screenings of the film "INVICTUS."
• New Delhi, India,  screenings of the film "INVICTUS" will take place in cooperation with the South African government.
• Burkina Faso’s UN Information Centre is producing a special TV programme and photo exhibition to honour Mr. Mandela.
• Pretoria, South Africa. The UN Information Centre will join in the various official activities in South Africa on 18 July, including those sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which is coordinating the global celebrations.
• Yangon, Myanmar will mark Mandela Day with a screening of the film "INVICTUS" sponsored by the UN Information Centre in and the American Center in Yangon.
• The UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels, Belgium will host a screening of "INVICTUS" in cooperation with the South African Embassy to Belgium and Luxemburg and the Goethe-Institut.
• UNAMID, the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur, Sudan is organising an inter-community football tournament titled "Football for Peace". The winning team will be awarded the Nelson Mandela Peace Cup
• UNRIC/Greece in cooperation with their IT team has created a Nelson Mandela Day Greek poster. The poster will be displayed from today until 20 July 2010 from the 113 video monitors installed in the Athens Metro stations. It’s expected than more than 500.000 metro passengers a day will be informed about Nelson Mandela Day.
• Vienna, Austria -Screening of the film "INVICTUS" will take place in cooperation with the South African government at 12 noon in UNIS Multimedia Room G0545.

For more information about Nelson Mandela International Day and to post your event, visit the commemoration website at: or on Facebook at:

The Department of Public Information graphic designers created the commemmorative poster available for downloading for use as a desktop wallpaper on your computer: choose the image in english or french. To set the image as the background on your computer, open the language version of your choosing and use the right button on your mouse to select the “set as background” option.