Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations has praised the anti-apartheid struggle of Nelson Mandela, stating that his efforts affected the lives of not only African nations but all those who seek justice everywhere in the world.
“Mandela dedicated his life to the sacred causes of humanity and justice, as well as the [establishment] of peace for all of mankind,” Gholam Hossein Dehqani said at a ceremony held at the UN Headquarters in New York on the occasion of Mandela Day, which is celebrated on July 18 because it is his birthday.
He described Mandela as a truly international personality whose achievements have transcended the borders of his country and the African continent and have influenced the lives of all the people of the world.
“Mandela managed to present new standards for the culture of compromise and peace, seeking it at both the national and international levels,” Dehqani said.
The Iranian diplomat also highlighted the services that Mandela has rendered to the United Nations, saying, “He has always played an important role in advancing the UN’s objectives and the articles of the UN Charter.”
“Mandela’s efforts for the peaceful resolution of disputes, the replacement of discord and division with unity, the promotion of dialogue rather than confrontation, and the elimination of poverty, [and] his respect for children's rights, his special attention to the Palestinian issue, and his legacy of promoting social justice, including the campaign against AIDS, provide a great model for everyone who seeks justice in the world and who works for the [establishment] of equal economic and social opportunities without any type of racial discrimination,” Dehqani stated.
He also praised Mandela for his close relations with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
“Nelson Mandela and NAM had very special relations, particularly over the course of the past 15 years, and NAM always supported his anti-apartheid efforts,” Dehqani said.
He also wished the former South African president a speedy recovery on his 95th birthday. Mandela has been hospitalized in Pretoria since June 8 due to a recurring lung infection.
Mandela became South Africa’s first Black president in the country's first multi-racial elections in 1994. He is called Africa’s elder statesman and is revered across the world for his role in ending apartheid in his homeland.