United Nations, Jul 21.- The UN General Assembly will hold a plenary meeting today on the occasion of the International Day of Nelson Mandela, a South African leader who made history in his anti-apartheid struggle.
Although that date was commemorated on July 18, as it coincided with the weekend, the Assembly decided to hold a commemorative act this Wednesday.
In the opinion of the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, in the midst of circumstances as difficult as the current ones, Mandela's life and legacy are inspiration and an example to follow.
Guided by that leader, each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, harmony with nature and dignity for all, he said in a statement Sunday.
In his message for Nelson Mandela International Day, the headline called for reflection on the life and legacy of this legendary defender of justice and human rights.
He also pointed out that his calls for solidarity and for the end of racism are particularly relevant today, when social cohesion in the world is threatened by division.
Societies become increasingly polarized, as hate speech increases and misinformation blurs the truth, questions science and undermines democratic institutions, he stressed.
According to the highest representative of the United Nations, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates these ills and sets back years of progress in the global fight against poverty.
'As always in times of crisis, it is the marginalized and discriminated against who suffer the most, often as they are blamed for problems they did not cause.'
The health crisis demonstrated the vital importance of human solidarity and unity, values defended by the South African leader in his lifelong fight for justice, said the Portuguese diplomat.
Every year on Madiba's birthday, we pay tribute to this extraordinary man who embodied the highest aspirations of the United Nations and the human family, said the Secretary-General.
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly proclaimed July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day, in recognition of his contributions.
The resolution highlights their values and dedication to serving humanity through their work in the areas of conflict resolution, reconciliation, promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups.
He was also very active in fighting poverty, inequalities, and promoting social justice.
Since September 2018, a statue of Mandela has welcomed those who enter the main building at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (PL)