UN introduces a prize in Nelson Mandela's honour

United Nations, June 7 (IANS) The UN General Assembly introduced the "United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize" as a tribute to the achievements and contributions of the late South African leader.

"Our best tribute to Nelson Mandela is not found in words or ceremonies, but in actions that take up the torch he passed to us," Xinhua quoted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as saying Friday while addressing the General Assembly.

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He died last year.

"From the early days of sanctions to the more recent declaration of July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day, this Assembly has placed itself on the right side of history with the people who need us most," Ban said.

"Today, the Assembly took another step forward in carrying on Nelson Mandela's lifelong work through this meaningful prize," Ban said, stressing the world organisation will forever be inspired by his work.

This prize would be officially adopted by the Assembly no later than Nov 30, 2014.