Celebration of the Centenary of Nelson Mandela’s Birthday in Iran

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Celebration of the Centenary of Nelson Mandela’s Birthday in Iran

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Tehran, July 18, 2018 - UNIC Tehran jointly with the South African Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran organized high-profile ceremony to kick of the year-long campaign to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day at the Espinas Palace Hotel on 18 July 2018. First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Morteza Sarmadi highlighted the importance of the legacy of Nelson Mandela and spoke about his support to Iran.  
Senior diplomats attending Nelson Mandela International Day
 Tehran, July 18, 2018 - UNIC Tehran jointly with the South African Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran organized high-profile ceremony to kick of the year-long campaign to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day at the Espinas Palace Hotel on 18 July 2018.

First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Morteza Sarmadi highlighted the importance of the legacy of Nelson Mandela and spoke about his support to Iran.  

Around 200 governmental officials, Ambassadors and other diplomats, civil society activists and media representatives paid their tribute to Nelson Mandela. This event was a start of a year-long campaign to promote and reflect on Mandela’s legacy, focusing on his values and dedication to conflict resolution, race relations, reconciliation, human rights, gender equality, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice.

 

First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Morteza Sarmadi

Ms. Soraya Jacobs, Chargé d'Affaires of the South African Embassy said that while we are paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, we should focus on actions for the humanity, not on ceremonies.  She described her touching personal experiences in the struggle for freedom and equality for all people of South Africa and also spoke about visits of Mandela to Iran and ties between the two countries. 

Dr Maria Dotsenko, Director of UNIC described the history of Nelson Mandela International Day and called for action which can be taken by each of us to improve life in our communities.  She also announced the UN Secretary-General video message, which was screened for the audience and which was translated and subtitled by UNIC interns.

 

Ms. Soraya Jacobs, chargé d'affaires of the South African Embassy

As in the past years, people around the world are encouraged to use 18 July to take action and inspire change by devoting time to community service, focused on fighting poverty, supporting vulnerable groups, and promoting human rights.

Shadi Rouhshahbaz, UNIC intern said, “I am very proud to contribute to the organization of this important event, because all my life, I try to follow Mandela’s call for action for the benefit of humanity and I am engaged myself and inspire others to be role models with our lives and activities”.

UNIC published updated Persian version of the UN booklet with Mandela’s quotes and photos and distributed it and other UN-information materials to the public. (English BookletFarsi Booklet)

Also, the visitors had an opportunity to see the photo exhibition about Mandela’s life and his visits to Iran. 

 

Dr Maria Dotsenko, Director of UNIC

Additionally, UNIC and the South African Embassy supported local NGOs, organizations and charitiesRaad Alghadir, Association of Protection of Children of LaborIranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS,Roshd Charity FoundationKetabraneh mobile bookstore and Revamp agency which organized atraining for trainers. Trainers are now prepared to train vulnerable children and people with disabilities on Mandela values, peacebuilding, reconciliation and dialogue.

Dr. Fardad Doroudi, Representative of UNAIDS in Iran spoke to the civil society representatives about Mandela’s personal contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS which was a taboo subject then in the South Africa and quoted the UNAIDS Director General,Michel Sidibé . UNIC Director and Chargé d'Affaires of the South African Embassy also spoke to the audience again.

Sarvenaz Heraner, co-founder of Ketabraneh mobile bookstore read her poem dedicated to NelsonMandela and musicians sang songs and played the lute in honor of Mandela.

 

The photo exhibition on Mandela’s life

A few UN-films on Mandela, which were translated and subtitled by UNIC interns were also screened for the audience. (video 1video 2)

In the framework of the campaign, UN staff, UNIC interns and partners in brief videos which were posted on social media spoke about what Mandela’s legacy means to them personally and UNIC interns translated and subtitles these videos. (video 1video 2video 3video 4video 5)  More videos will be recorded during the campaign.

 

Ceremony marking Mandela International Day

Sarah Ahmadi, musician, played a special composition on the traditional Iranian instrument, the daf, with her vision of “Music for Peace” and shared her plans to travel the Planet and promote Mandela’s values and peace.

Many other activities will be organized during the campaign: UN staff, diplomats and NGOs activists will spend a day helping vulnerable children in the South Tehran, kids will participate in painting competition and essays writing and civil society activists will organize events in the schools of Tehran with UNIC and South African Embassy support.

 

 
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