While last month's bulletin was concerned with the leadership of peace heroes in general, this month we concentrate on one great example who passed away this month, Nelson Mandela. As described by the Elders, an organization founded by him in 2007, Mandela illustrates all the properties of leadership needed for a culture of peace.

Despite 27 years in prison, he was not bitter about his captors, but instead he worked unceasingly for forgiveness and reconciliation. He was a "courageous voice for justice" and a "moral compass." He devoted his life to the struggle for "a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society where all are equal." in South Africa, but beyond that "his passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide."

He was a "visionary leader" whose vision inspires us to work for human rights and justice for all. As described by his political party, the African National Congress (ANC), "In the life of every nation, there arise men who leave an indelible and eternal stamp on the history of their peoples; men who are both products and makers of history. And when they pass they leave a vision of a new and better life and the tools with which to win and build it."

In the typical African appreciation of the tree as the symbol of their culture and traditions, the ANC describes Mandela as "the large African Boabab, who loved Africa as much as he loved South Africa . . . Its trunk and seeds will nourish the earth for decades to come."


tribute to Nelson Mandela

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Refusing to bow to the anti-communism inherited from previous centuries, the ANC reminds us that Mandela was "a member of the South African Communist Party, where he served in the Central Committee."

Mandela is not only an inspiration for the transition to democracy in South Africa, but he serves as a model for the "New Africa", as described by the head of the Economic Commission for Africa: "Mandela's legacy, values and truths will act as a strong foundation for a united and prosperous Africa."

In fact, he is an inspiration for the transition to a culture of peace in the world as a whole. The official South African commentary states that "Mandela dedicated his life in service of humanity and contributed immensely to the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world." This is echoed by the official commentary of the United Nations as delivered by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, that the UN General Assembly "has declared 18 July, his birthday, 'Nelson Mandela International Day', an annual observance on which we recognize and seek to build on his contributions to promoting a culture of peace and freedom around the world."


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MPP's Much Ado About Women

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on human rights

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on women's equality


Santos creates a Peace Commission to avoid violence and intolerance (Brazil)


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UN Secretary-General's Statement on the Death of Nelson Mandela


Thousands of Civilian Lives Being Saved by the Convention on Cluster Munitions

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on democratic participation

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on tolerance and solidarity

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on free flow of information

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on disarmament

Please send us articles about the work of your organization and other culture of peace news. (see We look forward to hearing from you.

Peace, through struggle,

The CPNN Team