18 Jul 2010

UN marks Nelson Mandela Day

5:05 pm on 18 July 2010

As former South African president Nelson Mandela celebrated his 92nd birthday, the United Nations has inaugurated an annual celebration.

Nelson Mandela International Day will be be observed on 18 July each year to pay tribute to his work in improving race relations, promotion of human rights, reconciliation and gender equality.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison during the apartheid era. Released in 1990, he went on, four years later, to become South Africa's first black president.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says Nelson Mandela is a towering figure who embodies the highest values of humanity.