THE UNITED NATIONS – Britain’s Prince Harry will address the United Nations General Assembly during its annual observance of Nelson Madela International Day on Monday and is expected to speak about the legacy of the South African anti-apartheid leader who spent 27 years in prison and became his country’s first black leader.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, will be the keynote speaker at the UN event and the South African UN mission said on Friday his remarks “will be around the memories and legacy of Mandela and what has been learned from his struggle and his life that can help meet the new challenges of today’s world.
The world still faces challenges that existed during Mandela’s lifetime, including racial intolerance, the gap between rich and poor, hunger and food insecurity, a mission diplomat said.
General Assembly Spokesperson Paulina Kubiak officially announced the program for Nelson Mandela International Day on Friday, with Harry giving the keynote address and attendees including Assembly Speaker Abdulla Shahid, Deputy -United Nations Secretary General Amina Mohammed, New York Mayor Eric Adams and Guinean Foreign Minister Morissanda Kouaté.
The General Assembly has established July 18 – Mandela’s birthday – as an international day to honor him not only by celebrating his life and contributions, but by continuing the tradition of participating in community service activity.
Harry will be accompanied to the UN by his wife Megan, the Duchess of Sussex. A former actress, she spoke at a conference at UN headquarters organized by UN Women on International Women’s Day in 2015, before her wedding to the prince.
In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior royals and moved to the Duchess’ native Southern California, where they continue to live with their two children.
Harry and Megan traveled to South Africa in 2019 with their son, Archie, on their first official family tour before stepping down from their royal duties. Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, met Mandela in March 1997, just five months before he died in a car crash in Paris.
The couple’s last trip to New York was in September 2021 to participate in the Global Citizen Live concert in Central Park to raise awareness of the need for vaccine equity to end the COVID-19 pandemic.