Prince Harry appeals for action as world marks Mandela Day: ‘Never give up’


WASHINGTON

British Prince Harry appealed to the international community on Monday to confront a multitude of challenges it faces, urging leaders to “never give up” as the world remembers anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Harry said the world is facing “a global assault on democracy and freedom” at the same time as it struggles to combat increasingly dire climate emergencies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and soaring inflation.

“In this moment, we have a choice to make. We can grow apathetic, succumb to anger or yield to despair, surrendering to the gravity of what we’re up against,” said Harry.

“Or we can do what Mandela did every single day. Inside that seven by nine foot prison cell on Robben Island, and everyday outside of it too. We can find meaning and purpose in the struggle. We can wear our principles as armor, heed the advice Mandela once gave his son to never give up the battle, even in the darkest hour, and find hope where we have the courage to seek it,” he added.

Born in the village of Mvezo in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing the apartheid regime, which denied fundamental rights to the country’s non-white African population. He became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president in 1994.

Despite having been incarcerated for nearly three decades, Mandela did not exercise bitterness, rancor or revenge against his tormentors. Instead, he chose reconciliation and forgiveness to unite all racial groups in South Africa. His leadership won him global admiration and the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.



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