AU Commission chief urges world leaders to be guided by Mandela's dream
"Nelson Mandela was a towering global advocate for justice and equality," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday in his message for Nelson Mandela International Day.
In 2013, AU also declared the years between 2014 and 2024 as 'Nelson Mandela Decade for Reconciliation in Africa', calling on the Union's member states to promote truth and reconciliation as means of advancing democracy and participatory governance, and securing peace, stability and development in Africa.
ADDIS ABABA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Wednesday urged leaders around the world to be guided by the dream of Nelson Mandela for equal opportunity and common future.
"Despite our adversity and differences of race, color, religion and creed, we can collectively make the world a better place, if we choose to do so," he added.
Mandela, who was born on July 18, 1918 and died on Dec. 5, 2013, was the first democratically-elected president of South Africa and the country's first black head of state.
It called on all citizens of the world to emulate, and be inspired by, Mandela's devotion to humanity, as well as human rights, peace, reconciliation, gender equality, rights of children and other vulnerable groups, the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice.
He championed the freedom and liberation of South Africa and the rest of the African continent, for which he sacrificed his freedom and dedicated his life, the chairperson has noted.
"As we celebrate Madiba's Centenary, I strongly urge and implore all leaders around the world to be guided by Madiba's dream for a non-racial, peaceful world, where all people have equal opportunity to build a common future," said the chairperson of the AU Commission.
The chairperson of the pan-African bloc made the remarks as the world on Wednesday commemorates the 100th birthday of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fondly known as Madiba, born in Mvezo, Eastern Cape, South Africa on 18 July 1918.
In recognition of Mandela's lifetime, which serves as an example for his contemporaries and for future generations, the UN General Assembly, declared Mandela's birth date, July 18, as the Nelson Mandela International Day.
Extending greetings to all peace-loving people around the world, Mahamat reiterated that Madiba lived a life of great courage and humility devoted to the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, tolerance and reconciliation.