United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
July 18, 2023
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Nelson Mandela International Day
Today, on what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 105th birthday, we celebrate 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 in the world has left a lasting imprint across generations.
I have long admired Nelson Mandela. His courage, compassion, and unfaltering commitment to do what was right in the face of extraordinary obstacles continues to inspire me.
In the United States, Mandela’s spirit carries on in programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which has brought nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for academic and leadership training since 2014. Seeing these young people follow in Mandela’s footsteps to help their communities truly gives me hope for the future.
This year will also mark 10 years since Nelson Mandela’s passing. Let us remember that we have the power to transform each other’s lives and affect change for the better. And let us ensure his legacy lives on as we strive to build a more peaceful, just, and free world together.