STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE AFRFICAN GROUP
BY HIS EXCELLENCY, AMBASSADOR LANG YABOU
AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY INFORMAL PLENARY: CELEBRATING NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY
WEDNESDAY, 21ST JULY 2021
President of the General Assembly
As we commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela today, I wish to on behalf of the African Group, extend my greetings to the Government and people of South Africa and to all peace-loving people around the world.
Madiba, as Nelson Mandela was fondly called, lived a life of great courage and humility devoted his life to the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, tolerance and reconciliation. He championed the freedom and liberation of South Africa and the rest of the continent, for which he sacrificed his freedom and dedicated his life. He was a guiding light, and remains an inspiration to us all, as we endeavor to carry on with his legacy of service to humanity.
We will forever appreciate the United Nations General Assembly for recognizing Mandiba’s lifetime and declaring 18th July as the Nelson Mandela International day.
This commemoration should always serve to remind us of the rare privilege to rededicate ourselves to the service of humanity by championing democracy, conflict resolution, disarmament, mutual respect, reconciliation, gender equality and the fight against poverty.
As we celebrate his legacy as one of the greatest men who ever lived and remember the ideals he lived for, I encourage us all, leaders and citizens alike, to recommit ourselves to follow in his footsteps. In so doing, we will equally leave our footprints in the sands of time.
Today is also an opportunity for all Africans to remember and reflect on the indelible marks Madiba has left on Africa and the world: his unifying leadership, personal integrity, compassion and humility, as well as the indomitable spirit that sustained him throughout his life dedicated to struggle for the freedom and liberation of fellow South Africans against the apartheid regime.
Madiba rejected all cult of personality. Instead, he emphasized his personal weaknesses and struggles as integral to authentic personhood. The Great Mandela died as a global citizen that symbolizes justice, peaceful co-existence and reconciliation. Hence, as we keep remembering his death, we must keep taking solace in his life and achievements for humanity.
Therefore, as we celebrate this day, 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.
Despite our diversity and differences of race, color, religion and creed, we can collectively make the world a better place.
I Thank you.