New York - The statue of former president Nelson Mandela will remain a constant reminder to the international community of his dedication to the mission of the United Nations (UN), President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
"We trust that this statue will remain a constant reminder to the international community of the dedication of Nelson Mandela to the mission of the United Nations and a constant affirmation of South Africa’s commitment to contribute to a better world for all," Ramaphosa said at the unveiling of the Mandela statue in New York in America.
He said South Africans have been humbled by the the enthusiasm with which the international community has embraced the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Mandela.
"The people of our country, united in their diversity, revere Nelson Mandela as the founding father of our democratic nation – whose life, sacrifices and extraordinary contribution to freedom continues to inspire successive generations," he said.
"For those of us gathered here at the United Nations, Nelson Mandela will forever hold a special place in our hearts because of his dedication to the service of humanity and the promotion of peace throughout the world."
The life-size statue of Mandela was unveiled at the UN General Assembly, New York.
"We recall with great appreciation and gratitude the leading role of the United Nations in championing the struggle of the South African people against apartheid and in calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners," Ramaphosa said.
"President Mandela firmly believed that the United Nations was the most valuable and effective instrument for the advancement of peace, development and equality that humanity had conceived."
Mandela died on December 5, 2013. He was 95.
African News Agency/ANA