July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day - the International day for freedom, justice and democracy. We recognise the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
Nelson Mandela Day was launched in recognition of Mandela’s birthday on 18 July. The day recognises his dedication to the service of humanity, in conflict resolution, race relations, and the promotion and protection of human rights. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity, as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
The day was inspired by a comment Mandela made back in 2008, calling on the next generation to become leaders in addressing the world’s social injustices: “it’s in your hands now”.
The day is both a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy, and a movement to change the world for the better.
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Steve Killelea, the man behind the Global Peace Index and Vision of Humanity, had lunch with Mandela in 1999. "What I took away from that lunch was many stories of greatness. Sacrifices by many others pale in significance to Mandela’s. Twenty-seven years in jail did not make him bitter, instead he only leant the power of peace."
Want to know more about current peace levels in South Africa? Check out the latest stats on the interactive 2015 Global Peace Index Map.
Source: Nelson Mandela Day
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.