In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 declared 18 July as "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
In December 2015, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.
General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.
Every year, on Mandela Day, people around the world are asked by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to do just that.
By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mr. Mandela’s public service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.