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6 December 2013: Statement of Condolence on Nelson Mandela from Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director

UNICEF joins millions of people around the world who mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

Today we have all lost a hero, a powerful champion for children.

The father of his nation, Nelson Mandela devoted much of his work to children. In 2002, he urged that Heads of State at the UN Special Session for Children endorse increased health and education resources for children. In 2004, through his Foundation and in partnership with the Hamburg Society and UNICEF, Mandela launched the Schools for Africa campaign to enroll two million African children in school. He started his own children’s fund and fought passionately, with his wife, Graça Machel, and the Global Movement for Children and UNICEF, to put children at the heart of the global development agenda. 

Madiba touched the lives of millions of children. They are a central part of his legacy.

Our deepest condolences go to his wife, Graça Machel, his family and his nation.


For more information, please contact:

Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Spokesperson Tel +1 646 209 1590, 

Kent Page, UNICEF New York, Tel +1 212-326-7605; 

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York, Tel +1-212-326-7586, Mobile +1 917-213-4034, 





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