Nelson Mandela’s most enduring legacy was that he “taught us peace is more than the absence of war – peace is about tolerance, inclusion and opportunity” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) director Professor Tilman Bruck said.
His tribute to South Africa’s first democratically elected president was echoed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who called Mandela “a giant for justice and a down to earth human inspiration”.
Bruck said SIPRI would remember Mandela for “his long struggle against apartheid, his status as the father of democracy in South Africa and his legacy as a peacemaker”.
“Mandela overcame adversity and resisted the temptation for violence and aggression to find compromise and co-operation.
‘While South Africa has overcome the politics of apartheid, the country still faces a long journey to economic equality and fairness. This is a promise of the struggle exemplified by Nelson Mandela that remains to be fulfilled,” he said.
UN General Assembly president John Ashe said the example of Mandela’s life and actions “demonstrated the difference one person can make in the face of adversity, oppression and prejudice, while maintaining a disposition of humility, humour and modesty”.