Once again, Jamaica proudly joins the global community in celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18, 2013. This year’s observance takes on added significance as this international stalwart and freedom fighter fights for his life on his 95th birthday. We give thanks for his sustained life while continuously praying for his recovery.

It was my distinct pleasure to serve last year as Patron of the first Mandela Day observance in Jamaica, and I commend the South African High Commissioner and her team for once again ensuring we continue to celebrate with ‘Madiba’, as the former South African President is affectionately called.

Nelson Mandela International Day is a fitting tribute to the life and work of the former South African President who gave 67 years of his life to fighting for the rights of humanity. This year we celebrate Mandela Day under the theme, ‘Take Action, Inspire Change, and make every day a Mandela Day’, and I encourage all Jamaicans to join in the global call for humanitarian action by spending 67 minutes of your time in serving others, and in particular doing something to improve the lives of our children.

Jamaica embraces the commemoration and significance of this Day as a special honour to a man who has been a beacon for his own people and a shining light to the world through his selfless struggles for democracy, peace and global understanding. Inspired by his love, care, warmth and compassion let us make each day a Mandela Day by incorporating his values in our everyday lives.

The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP Prime Minister

July 18, 2013

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