The General Assembly held a special meeting to commemorate the Nelson Mandela International Day, marking the 95th birthday of the “global hero and icon of justice and equality”. The International Day has been observed annually on 18 July starting in 2010, in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Speakers at the event included Acting Assembly President Nawaf Salam; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; former United States President Bill Clinton; Andrew Mlangeni, South African Member of Parliament and former Robben Island political prisoner with Mandela; and Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., American civil rights and anti-apartheid activist.
A view of the Economic and social Council Chamber dais as Acting Assembly President Nawaf Salam (centre), addresses the event. Pictured with him on the dais (from left): Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; Former US President Bill Clinton; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Tegegnework Gettu, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management; and Mr. Andrew Mlangeni. Continuing to the right: Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson; Mr. Ban’s wife, Yoo Soon-taek; and Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria.