Remarks at a UN General Assembly Informal Meeting in Observance of Nelson Mandela International Day

Remarks at a UN General Assembly Informal Meeting in Observance of Nelson Mandela International Day

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
July 20, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished guests.

Today the United States is honored to join in celebrating the life and legacy of one of the most inspiring leaders of our time.  Nelson Mandela’s selfless contribution to advancing human rights, freedom, and democracy has left a lasting imprint across generations.

His courage, compassion, and unfaltering commitment to do what was right in the face of extraordinary adversity continues to inspire those seeking freedom and justice in every corner of the globe.

In the United States, Mandela’s spirit carries on in programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which since 2014 has brought nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for academic and leadership exchange.  This program is designed to strengthen opportunities for young leaders to follow in Mandela’s footsteps and drive positive change in their communities.

Mr. President, inspired by Nelson Mandela’s example:

Let us all show humility and remember that we have the power to transform each other’s lives and effect change for the better.

Let us all embrace reconciliation and solidarity and resist temptations of division.

Let us all unite to tackle the pressing challenges of our time – poverty, hunger, disease, gender disparities, systemic racism, inequality, and the existential threat of climate change.

Let us all commit to uphold the inherent dignity of every human being, cultivate growing economies and just societies, and ensure that no one is left behind.

In this same spirit, Mr. President, let us all recommit to Agenda 2030 as our blueprint for peace and prosperity, for people and the planet.

In closing, let us all ensure that Mandela’s legacy lives on as we strive to build a more peaceful, just, and free world together.