Do you know a female or male lawyer who has what it takes to be nominated for the 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize?
If so, nominations must be in by Friday, February 28.
The prize was established in 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations, while honouring and paying homage to Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life and legacy of reconciliation, political transition, and social transformation.
Mandela himself practised as a lawyer in Johannesburg with fellow struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo before being jailed for 27 years by South Africa’s apartheid government.
The new UN award is presented every five years to two individuals: one female and one male.
First awarded in 2015, the inaugural prize recognized two outstanding individuals: Dr Helena Ndume of Namibia (an ophthalmologist whose life’s work has been the treatment of blindness and eye-related illnesses, both in Namibia and throughout the developing world) and former President of Portugal, Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio, a leader in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in his country.
Laureates will be selected by a United Nations committee chaired by the President of the General Assembly and composed of representatives of six Member States, including representatives from each of the five regional groups, a representative of the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations and five eminent individuals who will serve as ex officio members.
It is expected that the laureates will be announced in May 2020, with the prizes awarded at United Nations Headquarters in New York during the commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day, marked on July 18.
The prize awarded to each winner is a plaque engraved with an appropriate citation and a relevant quotation.
The UN says the prize shall be awarded to acknowledge service to humanity in the promotion of reconciliation and social cohesion, and in community development.
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