UN commemorates Nelson Mandela's "lifetime of service"

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Nelson Mandela addresses Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. Credit: UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakara (file)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is urging people to "make a difference" in the lives of others in memory of the late Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela was the world's most famous prisoner of conscience who resisted the former system of racial discrimination in South Africa known as apartheid.

The activist went on to become the country’s first black president in 1994.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

Every year on Nelson's Mandela's birthday, 18 July, people are asked to volunteer for at least 67 minutes.

Those minutes represent the 67 years the former South African president devoted to bring change to his country.

In his message for Nelson Mandela International Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged people to pay tribute to the "great man" through actions that improve our world.

He described the former freedom fighter as an "extraordinary global advocate for justice and equality."

"Each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, sustainable development, and lives of dignity for all.  Each of us can be inspired by Nelson Mandela's example, and by his famous words: It always seems impossible until it's done. Let us all build on the legacy of Nelson Mandela."

Mr Mandela also known as "Madiba" died in his native village on 5 December 2013.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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