The leadership of the UN on Thursday called for actions on hate speech on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day.
To honor his legacy, the UN held a meeting on the observance of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day.
In her opening remarks, UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces called on the international community to increase efforts to combat racism and hate speech.
“Let us strengthen our resolve to fight this scourge, using tools such as the Durban Programme of Action, and the UN strategy on hate speech, recently launched by the Secretary-General,” she said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a similar call in his statement. “Madiba’s call for social cohesion and a culture of peace are particularly relevant today, with hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world.”
The UN chief said that the strategy and plan of action on hate speech he has launched last month is to identify, prevent and confront this “shameful phenomenon”, which is progressively infecting mainstream discourse.
“As we work collectively for peace, stability, sustainable development and human rights for all, we would be well served to recall the example set by Nelson Mandela,” he added.
Nelson Mandela International Day, or Mandela Day, is an annual international day in honor of Mandela, celebrated on July 18, his birthday. Born in 1918, he had been imprisoned for 27 years for his role in the fight against apartheid and became the first black president of South Africa.
Mandela died in December 2013 at the age of 95.