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ICTP Mourns Death of Nelson Mandela

Was Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, a sponsor of ICTP

06/12/2013 - Trieste, Italy

ICTP joins the world in mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid activist who served 27 years in prison before becoming the first black South African president. His life-long battle against racism, inequality and poverty earned him numerous honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

"Nelson Mandela embodied the ideals on which ICTP is based," said ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo, adding, "One of his most famous quotes, that 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world', lies at the heart of ICTP's mission."

"Nelson Mandela was truly a giant among men," said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. "He not only changed South Africa's history, he changed the world and made it a better place. He taught us all a lesson on the power of peace and reconciliation; the importance of forgiveness and respect for the dignity of each and every human being."

"UNESCO is proud and honoured to have counted Nelson Mandela as a member of its family," the Director-General said. "The greatest tribute we can pay him, is to carry on his message of hope and to continue his fierce defense of the values he stood for."

In 1991, Nelson Mandela was awarded the UNESCO-Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize. In later years, he served the Organization as a Goodwill Ambassador.

ICTP is a UNESCO Category I institute, receiving important support to carry out its scientific and educational mission throughout the world, especially in developing countries.