Journée Nelson Mandela : l’ONU appelle à prendre ‘Madiba’ en exemple pour bâtir un monde meilleur

. PARTICIPATION DÉMOCRATIQUE .

Un article par le Centre d’Activités de l’ONU

A l’occasion de la Journée internationale consacrée à Nelson Mandela [18 juillet], le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Ban Ki-moon, a appelé les gens du monde entier à prendre exemple sur la foi inébranlable en la justice dont a fait preuve, tout au long de sa vie, le leader sud-africain décédé en 2013, pour tenter de construire un monde meilleur pour tous.

mandela
Photo ONU/Pernaca Sudhakaran

« La Journée internationale Nelson Mandela est chaque année l’occasion d’encourager chacun, partout dans le monde, à influer sur le cours des choses dans sa collectivité en prenant le temps de servir les autres », a déclaré le chef de l’ONU dans un message.

Le thème retenu pour cette journée, ‘Agissez ! Incarnez le changement’, rappelle à quel point il importe de travailler tous ensemble pour bâtir un monde paisible, viable et équitable, a poursuivi le Secrétaire général.

Pendant 67 ans, Nelson Mandela a mis sa vie au service de l’humanité, en tant qu’avocat spécialiste des droits de l’homme, prisonnier de conscience, architecte international de la paix et premier Président démocratiquement élu d’une Afrique du Sud libre.

En novembre 2009, l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a proclamé le 18 juillet Journée internationale Nelson Mandela, en l’honneur de la contribution apportée par l’ex-Président sud-africain à la culture de la paix et de la liberté.

« Nelson Mandela a consacré 67 années de sa vie à la lutte pour les droits de l’homme et la justice sociale. Les Nations Unies se joignent à la Fondation Nelson Mandela pour demander aux personnes du monde entier de consacrer au moins 67 minutes de leur temps à une activité d’intérêt général le 18 juillet, date de la naissance de Madiba », a appelé M. Ban.

Le Secrétaire général a souligné que le soixante-dixième anniversaire de l’ONU, cette année, offre le moment le plus opportun pour réfléchir à la vie et à l’œuvre de M. Mandela, qui a incarné « les plus hautes valeurs de l’Organisation ».

Aussi, pour cette édition 2015, les Nations Unies décerneront le tout premier Prix Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, institué par l’Assemblée générale en 2014. Cette distinction honorifique sera accordée tous les cinq ans à deux personnes, un homme et une femme, qui, par leur dévouement, leurs efforts et leur compassion, ont poursuivi la voie tracée par le leader sud-africain.

« Nelson Mandela disait qu”il vous appartient de bâtir un monde meilleur pour tous ceux qui l’habitent’. Continuons donc à nous inspirer chaque jour de l’exemple que ce meneur d’hommes, motivé par une foi inébranlable en la justice et l’égalité pour tous, a donné tout au long de sa vie, et de son appel à toujours nous efforcer de bâtir un monde meilleur pour tous », a déclaré M. Ban.

La cérémonie de remise du Prix des Nations Unies Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela aura lieu le 24 juillet, parallèlement à l’évènement annuel commémorant la Journée, dans la Salle du Conseil de tutelle au siège des Nations Unies à New York.

(Cliquez ici pour l’article en anglais ou ici pour l’article en espagnol. )

Latest Discussion

What is the legacy of Nelson Mandela for us today?

Comment by Rama Singh posted: Dec. 31 2013

ON MANDELA’S LASTING LEGACY

In death, as in his life, Nelson Mandela has captured the imagination of the world. Mourning mixed with celebration has electrified crowds all over South Africa and elsewhere. His life’s achievements and his lasting legacy are the topics of discussions. He has been described as a great warrior, a great liberator, the last giant in the fight against colonialism, forgiver, peace maker, and in many other ways.

All this week, Mandela’s lasting legacy has been on my mind. We tend to capture the legacies of great men and women in a word or two. A scientist becomes famous for an important discovery, a writer for a famous book, a musician for a great composition, and so on.

People like Mandela fall in a different category. He is in the category of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. They are known for their fights on behalf of oppressed people; they are known for their personal sacrifice, and for their moral authority. If we are to look for words to associate with these men, it will be “nonviolence” for Gandhi and “love’ (beloved community) for Dr. King. But what about Mandela- how will we describe his legacy?

What were the important transformational changes in Mandela’s life?

Mandela the great warrior: Mandela has been described as a great warrior, but he was no ordinary warrior. All legendary warriors, mythical or real, are known for the destruction of their enemies. Mandela was different; he did not seek annihilation of his enemy; he transformed his enemy into his collaborator.

Mandela the resilient sufferer: I know of no other person living or dead who was forcefully made to disappear from the scene for this long (incarceration for 27 years) and who survived and made his triumphatic return. Gandhi said there is no other way to show your love for the suffering of your loved ones than to suffer yourself with them, for them. Mandela suffered the longest because his work was the hardest.

Mandela the great liberator: Colonial rulers are known for their ruthless treatment and putting down of citizens but South Africa was not a typical colonial rule. The rulers were Afrikaners, citizen of South Africa. I know of no other country, outside of the United States, where the blacks were so harshly treated by another segment of their own country. It was a true liberation. Thanks to Mandela, sad songs of seeking freedom through death were transformed into freedom in life.
Mandela the magnanimous forgiver: Gandhi’s nonviolence is a complete philosophy of life and it includes love of your enemy and forgiveness. Nonviolence had to be tested to show that it works and that it’s not just a philosophy. Dr. King tested nonviolence with his own suffering and love for his people. His passion for his “beloved community” became the brand of his civil rights struggle for which he paid with his own life. As Gandhi said, the only two places of non-action for such fighters are prison or death. Mandela went to prison, suffered longer, and tested his resolve to forgive his “enemy”. We can only imagine the blood bath had he not done that.

Mandela the peace maker: Gandhi, Dr. King and Mandela, together, constitute a shining trinity of peace and their contributions, respectively, nonviolence, love, and forgiveness provide a prescription for peace if the humankind needs to survive. Truth and Reconciliation will remain one of Mandela’s brilliant and innovative contributions for healing wounds between warring people, warring nations. Gandhi, King and Mandela, all tested nonviolence in their own way and they all came out with the same result: The path of peace and liberation goes through love, suffering, and forgiveness.
Mandela the spiritual father: We go through life with two sets of parents. Our own parents, of course, who brought us in this world, whom we owe our life, body and brain, whom we remain eternally grateful for their sacrifice and care to help us grow and to teach us how to live.

There are another set of parents, for a lack of a better word we can call them our “spiritual parents”. These are men and women whom the whole humanity owes gratitude because it is their discoveries, contributions and, teachings that we like fill our brain with, they make us human- kinder, gentler, and humane.

We call ourselves human because we made a pledge with destiny that we will become humane. It has been a long and arduous journey. With his love, suffering and forgiveness, Mandela has brought us further on the path and has warned we still have a long way to go.

Gandhi-King-Mandela, or Mohan, Martin and Matiba, are angels of peace. We are their descendents, the keepers of their dreams.

Rama Singh, is a professor in the department of biology, and member, Coordinating Council, Centre for Peace Studies, McMaster University.

This appreciation was originally published in the Hamilton Spectator in Canada.

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