Picture taken on July 16, 2013 shows a wall of tributes for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has marked the International Day of Nelson Mandela, saying the heart of the day is “good works for people and the planet.”
The Nelson Mandela International Day will be held on Thursday on the 95th birthday of the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon.
Global celebrations and charity events will reportedly be held in the day under the theme, “take action, inspire change, and make everyday a Mandela Day.”
The commemorations came while the South African icon is in critical condition in Pretoria hospital in the Northern Province of Gauteng.
“Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice. In marking this Day, the United Nations is joining the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18 July to community service,” Ban said in a message on Wednesday.
Ban went on saying that the day is aimed at “mobilizing the human family to do more to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.”
“This is the best tribute we can pay to an extraordinary man who embodies the highest values of humanity,” Ban added.
The African hero was taken to hospital for lung infection. His lung troubles date back to the 27 years he spent in prison.
Mandela, who led the country to democracy in 1994, left office in 1999 after serving one term as South Africa’s president. Seen as South Africa’s moral compass, the highly-revered leader announced his retirement from public life in 2004, but continued to make a number of public appearances.
The former South African president has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.