New York: The UN General Assembly has
declared July 18 "Nelson Mandela International Day" to mark
the South African anti-apartheid leader`s contribution to
A resolution adopted by consensus by the 192-member world
body calls for commemorations every year starting in 2010 on
July 18 Mandela`s birthday to recognise the Nobel Peace Prize
laureate`s contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting
race relations, human rights and reconciliation.
By adopting the resolution, General Assembly president
Ali Treki said the international community was expressing its
appreciation for "a great man" who suffered for the sake of
Mandela, 91, led the fight against apartheid in South
Africa as head of the African National Congress` armed wing.
He was convicted of sabotage and other crimes and served 27
years in prison. When he was freed in 1990, he supported
reconciliation and helped lead South Africa`s transition
toward multi-racial democracy.
Mandela became the country`s first president to win in a
fully democratic election and led South Africa from 1994-99.
He is celebrated today as an international statesman and
continues to speak out on human rights and other global