South Africa: Mandela Day a Platform to Enhance Social Protection

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has told the United Nations that International Mandela Day should be used to enhance social protection systems and to reduce extreme poverty by 2030.

Addressing the General Assembly on the occasion of the annual observance of Mandela Day in New York on Thursday, the Minister said: "In honor of the legacy and values espoused by Mandela and in upholding the founding principles of this august inter-governmental body we should as Member States, redouble our efforts in the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda."

Kubayi-Ngubane told delegates the late former President's vision and that of the 2030 Agenda recognise that in creating a prosperous world that is at peace with itself, ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth.

"Madiba believed that all of us, no matter our background, can make a difference. He believed that every man, woman and child should take responsibility to change the world for the better.

"We must further utilise the International Nelson Mandela Day to interrogate and reflect on what more can be done to enhance our universal social protection systems and what sorts of targeted measures we can employ to reduce extreme poverty by 2030," she said.

Kubayi-Ngubane said failure to heed the call by Madiba to take action and inspire change will be to reverse the gains made in making the world a better place for all.

The Minister called on the United Nations to rededicate and reassert itself as a premier global institution in the execution of its special responsibility to shape a world free of fear, want and prejudice.

"We call on all nations of the world, developed and developing alike to emulate Tata Mandela's values of tolerance, dialogue, respect, unity and reconciliation and to embrace his qualities of humility, forgiveness and compassion and his dedication to the service of humanity.

"We must recommit to the ideal of a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world," she said.

Celebrated annually on Mandela's birthday, 18 July, the 2019 leg of Mandela Day comes on what would have been the late statesman and global icon's 101st birthday.

On this day, South Africa celebrates former President Nelson Mandela's birthday. Mandela Day has been inspiring people across the country and the world to take action and effect some change, even if only for 67 minutes.

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