Nelson Mandela’s South African journey from anti-Apartheid leader to prisoner to President to global statesman — the Long Walk to Freedom of his autobiography title — is one of the 20th century’s great stories of struggle, sacrifice and reconciliation. Now the United Nations is seeking to harness its soaring symbolism.
The United Nations is declaring 2019-2028 as the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace”, and a declaration being adopted at Monday’s peace summit identifies the personal qualities that made him a transcendent humanitarian — “humility, forgiveness and compassion” — and connects them with UN goals, including disarmament, human rights and poverty alleviation.
Nelson Mandela (1918 – ) Made a significant contribution to peace in South Africa. Although imprisoned for fighting apartheid, he was released and became first democratically elected President. Mandela sought to forgive and work with the former white minority. Mandela became a global symbol of goodwill and how people can make a real contribution to peace. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 (jointly with F.W. de Klerk)