"Take action, Inspire change" on Nelson Mandela International Day

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18 July is Nelson Mandela International Day. UN File Photo/ P. Sudhakaran

People worldwide are being urged to take inspiration from Nelson Mandela's legacy of service to humanity.

The call comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message for Nelson Mandela International Day, observed this Saturday.

The annual celebration on 18 July commemorates the birthday of South Africa's first democratically elected president, who died two years ago at age 95.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General described Nelson Mandela as a leader who acted with a steadfast belief in justice and human equality.

He said the theme behind Nelson Mandela International Day—"Take action, Inspire change"—highlights the importance of working together to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.

He recalled that Mr Mandela devoted 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice.

In tribute to the man who was also known as "Madiba," people everywhere are encouraged to perform 67 minutes of community service on his birthday.

The UN will bestow an honorary award in Mr Mandela's name later this month.

Dr Helena Ndume, an eye doctor from Namibia, and Jorge Sampaio, a former President of Portugal, are the first recipients.

The UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize will be presented every five years to one man and one woman whose work has built on his legacy.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'05"

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