Brussels, 18 July 2022/OACPS: On the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, observed annually on July 18, the Secretary-General, H. E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, on behalf of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), salutes President Nelson Mandela, a son of South Africa, who has become a global icon of peace and humanity, and whose life stands out as an example of the power of peaceful resistance to create change.

At the current moment, several of the Members of the OACPS are in the throes of conflict. Globally, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is expected to create massive socio-economic impacts throughout the world, not to mention the displacement of millions from their homeland.

The Members of the OACPS are also engaged in other, equally existential conflicts, such as climate change and against the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, like climate change, have had a disproportionate effect on our Member States. As such, the example of President Mandela is more relevant than ever. Secretary-General Chikoti welcomes the theme for the 2022 Nelson Mandela Day celebrations, “Do what you can with what you have and where you are,” which highlights the fact that one person can make a change, and calls on everyone to exercise his or her individual responsibility to effect change, wherever possible.

At the level of the OACPS, Secretary-General Chikoti reaffirms the OACPS’ solidarity with the international community and invites everyone, to use this day to recall and take to heart the example set by President Mandela in choosing peaceful and democratic solutions to resolve social injustice, and to build a fairer and better world.