A statue of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled at the United Nations to honor the 100th anniversary of the late South African leader’s birth.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at Monday’s dedication that Mandela “embodied the highest values of the United Nations — peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity.”

A peace summit is scheduled later Monday in Mandela’s honor as the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting of world leaders begins.

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years under South Africa’s white minority government. Four years later, he became the country’s first black president in its first multi-racial elections.

General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces says she hopes the sculpture will serve as an inspiration to member nations, and a reminder “that our differences are to be celebrated.”

Source: The Associated Press

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