"Our best tribute to Nelson Mandela is not found in words or ceremonies - but in actions that take up the torch he passed to us," Xinhua quoted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as saying following the adoption by consensus of the resolution establishing the prize.
The assembly has a proud record of acting against apartheid - and for Nelson Mandela. "From the early days of sanctions to the more recent declaration of July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day, this assembly has placed itself on the right side of history with the people who need us most," he said.
UN: Our best tribute to Nelson Mandela is not found in words or ceremonies
"Today, the assembly took another step forward in carrying on Nelson Mandela's lifelong work through this meaningful prize," Ban said, stressing the world organisation will forever be inspired by his example.
By the terms of the resolution, the assembly asked the secretary general, in consultation with the president of the assembly, to establish within six months of adoption of the text the criteria and procedures for bestowing the prize. This is to be adopted by the assembly no later than Nov 30, 2014.