18 July is the Nelson Mandela International Day, adopted in November 2009 by the UN General Assembly, as a tribute to the founding president of the post-apartheid South Africa and his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Nov. 10, 2009 to commemorate every year starting in 2010 on July 18, Mandela's birthday, to recognise his contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting racial reconciliation and human rights. Mandela will commemorate his 92nd birthday on Sunday.
The elimination of apartheid was always high on the agenda of the United Nations. In the decades leading up to the advent of democracy, the world body would contribute to the global struggle against apartheid by drawing world attention to the inhumanity of the system, legitimising popular resistance, promoting anti-apartheid actions by governmental and non-governmental organisations, instituting an arms embargo, and supporting an oil embargo and boycotts of apartheid in many fields.
On Friday, July 16, an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly was held in the General Assembly Hall. The event incorporated music, photos and video footage of Mr Mandela.