18 July 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. G. Hossein Dehghani Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations on behalf of the the Non-Aligned Movement
on the Occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day
18 July 2013
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I have the honour and pleasure to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day. We have come together today to pay tribute to the extensive personal achievements of President Nelson Mandela — a visionary and great leader of our time, who has dedicated his life to the service of humanity and has come to symbolize the triumph of justice over oppression, of hope over despair and of peace over conflict.
This international day, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, is definitely in recognition of the impact that Mr. Mandela has had on the whole human society. It is true that he has been the champion of South Africa’s and Africa’s struggle for liberation and for its unity. However, he is a figure of unique international standing, who has a profound impact on the lives of people across the world. His fight has projected itself far beyond his country and his continent and helps set the standard for a new culture of tolerance and peace both at the national and international levels.
As we work and speak at the United Nations, we admire Mr. Mandela as a great world leader, who has always supported this Organization and steadfastly promoted its ideals and played an important role in furthering the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Nelson Mandela is synonymous with peace and reconciliation, key attributes that mark his legacy. His contribution to conflict resolution, reconciliation, the victory of unity over division and of negotiation over confrontation, the rights of children and uplifting the poor and his attention to the question of Palestine are acknowledged across the world. The legacy of his struggle for social justice and his efforts to combat HIV and AIDS continue to this day.
Mr. Mandela’s legacy will live on through younger generations in Africa and other regions of the world. The vivid example he provides constitutes an inspiration for all those who strive for a better world, a more just and equal world, a world respectful of human rights, of differences, of equality and equal opportunities for all; a world where everyone should have an equal right to economic and social development; a world free of discrimination.
The Non-Aligned Movement is proud to have played an important role in creating Nelson Mandela International Day, which was endorsed by the special declaration adopted at the fifteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, at Sharm el-Sheikh. There has been a special relationship between Mr. Mandela and our Movement in the past 50 years. The NAM actively supported his struggle against apartheid and colonialism since its inception and, following the collapse of apartheid regime, President Mandela has become one of the great leaders of our
Movement and has played an instrumental and active role over the years on issues of concern and vital importance to its members.
We convey our best wishes to Mr. Mandela and pray to the Almighty for his speedy recovery and good health.
Thank you Mr. President.