JIS News

Story Highlights

  • On 10th December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 18th July as Nelson Mandela International Day.
  • In so doing, the United Nations recognised the long history of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s leading role in and support for Africa’s struggle for liberation and Africa’s unity, and his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, democratic South Africa.
  • Jamaica is pleased to join the international community in paying homage to Nelson Mandela, the first majority-elected President of the Republic of South Africa who passed away at the age of 95, on 5 December 2013.

Nelson Mandela International Day

18th July 2015

Message by Senator the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson QC

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

 

On 10th December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 18th July as Nelson Mandela International Day.

 

In so doing, the United Nations recognised the long history of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s leading role in and support for Africa’s struggle for liberation and Africa’s unity, and his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, democratic South Africa.

 

Jamaica is pleased to join the international community in paying homage to Nelson Mandela, the first majority-elected President of the Republic of South Africa who passed away at the age of 95, on 5 December 2013.

 

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the greatness of this man, who was the embodiment of self-sacrifice and commitment to a cause greater than himself and his nation.

 

His lifelong struggle for human rights and social justice continues to resonate strongly with the people of Jamaica. As we celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, we remember the humanitarian, philosopher, political activist, and freedom fighter, who consistently promulgated the virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation over hatred and revenge.

 

On this day, we recall Nelson Mandela’s perseverance and determination under the most adverse circumstances.  By his actions and his words, he demonstrated that justice and equality were worth fighting for, because “when people are determined, they can overcome anything”.

 

The life of Mr. Mandela symbolised hope, not only for the people of South Africa and the wider African continent, but for people in every corner of the globe. Despite the odds, including twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment, he was determined that good would conquer evil, noting that “it always seems impossible until it’s done”.

 

Nelson Mandela Day serves as a poignant reminder that people can make a difference by the strength of their character and the rightness of their cause. His legacy of leadership, service to country above self, and unquestioned integrity deserves to be emulated everywhere.

 

His own words are his most fitting epitaph: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

 

As we commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day, may the life and work of this remarkable human being continue to inspire and uplift Jamaicans in every sphere of life, as we play our part in making this country, and by extension the world, a better place.