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Celebration of the 100th Anniversary Birthday of Nelson Mandela

UN GA High Level Summit honoring President Nelson Mandela during the anniversary of his 100th birthday and the UN Declaration for Decade of Peace

Speaker: Ambassador Isaiah Chabala,
Former Permanent Representative of Zambia

to the United Nations
in New York and in Geneva

 Organized by

the Dorset Village Library, 
Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA), New England, VT chapter, Grace Initiative Global

(October 12, 2018, 6:00 PM)

On the first day of the opening of 73rd UN General Assembly, world leaders convened to reflect on the 100th anniversary on the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela – a leader imbued with a moral force.[1]  His life was indeed remarkable. Not only did his leadership triumph over apartheid and revenge; his leadership exemplified all that was possible through, forgiveness, democratization, reconciliation – so that all people, “the exalted and the wretched of the earth, can live as equals.”[2] During this Summit, the UN Member States unanimously adopted the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace, 2018-2028.

Even during his imprisonment, which few could bear, his steadfastness was a catalyst for the international community to move toward coexistence. It is no wonder he received the noble peace prize in 1993.[3]  The peaceful election leading to his presidency in 1994, truly symbolized a joyous aspiration for the human spirit. In this regard, his legacy clarified and confirmed that inter alia: discrimination is not acceptableapartheid of any kind is unlawful; and, violence to gain objectives is unjustifiable.

Therefore, for this humble event we will reflect on Nelson Mandela’s goals and achievements and “his capacity for seeing the best in people and his belief in the dignity of humankind.”[4]


[2]Sampson, Anthony,Mandela, The Authorized Biography(Alfred A. Knopf, 1999) p. 239.

[3] He shared the prize withFrederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

[4]Ibid., 516.