The decision to memorialize Jul 18 as Nelson Mandela Day was adopted in Nov, 2009 by the 192-member world body. They adopted the date as it was Mandela's birthday, in order to recognize the Nobel Peace Prize winner's contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting race relations and human rights.
Ali Treki, UN General Assembly President said that by adopting the resolution, the international community was expressing its appreciation for a 'great man' who suffered for the sake of people everywhere.
The General Assembly resolution greets Mandela's leading role in Africa's struggle for liberation and the nation's unity. The day will also honor his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa.