Resolution on the celebration of the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela African Day in recognition of his efforts as a great defender of human rights - ACHPR/Res.559 (LXXV) 2023


The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 75th Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia from 3 to 23 May 2023; 

Recalling its mandate of promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa under Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Recognizing the exceptional struggle led by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as a great champion and highly committed defender of the promotion and protection of human and peoples' rights in Africa, particularly in the fight against apartheid and racism;

Recognizing also his tremendous support for African liberation movements and for the unity of the African continent, free from colonialist, racial and gender ideologies like other great African heroes and forefathers;

Recognizing its role as mediator and peacemaker in the resolution of conflicts in Africa and its involvement in the promotion of the values of human dignity and solidarity;

Commending efforts made by Nelson Mandela to promote the values of human dignity, justice, peace and reconciliation, democracy, equality and freedom for all in Africa; 

Welcoming the statement made by the representative of the Republic of South Africa at the 75th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, the Gambia, from 3 to 23 May 2023 on the necessity to observe the Nelson Mandela Day at the African level as it is at the UN level; 

Welcoming also the international campaign initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related organizations to observe each year 18 July, his birthday, as Mandela Day;

Taking into account the Resolution A/ Res/64/13 adopted by the General Assembly on 10 November 2009 designating 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day, to be observed each year beginning in 2010; 

The Commission:

i. Decides to proclaim and recognize Nelson Mandela as a great defender of human and peoples' rights on the continent;
ii. Decides to convene annually on 18 July, or at the earliest date if it coincides with a session, an event for the commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day;
iii. Solemnly request the African Union to consider proclaiming 18 July as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela African Day; and
iv. Invites all States parties to the African Charter and other stakeholders, including African Union Organs, International and intergovernmental Organizations, National human rights Institutions and civil society organizations, to commemorate Nelson Mandela Day each year as a tribute to his legacy.

Done at Banjul, The Gambia, on May 23, 2023