Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 17:03 UK

World urged to mark 'Mandela Day'

Nelson Mandela, 22/04
Mr Mandela made public appearances during South Africa's election

People around the world should mark the birthday of Nelson Mandela with a day of action, charities associated with the former South Africa president say.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664 are hosting events this 18 July and want the date to be marked every year.

They want people to "help change the world" by giving 67 minutes to a good cause - reflecting the 67 years Mr Mandela has spent as an activist.

Former US President Bill Clinton has given his backing to the idea.

"We each owe it to him to support his work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can, not just on this day, but throughout our entire lives," Mr Clinton said.

Launching the idea, the charities said they wanted the day to inspire people to embrace Mr Mandela's values and improve their lives through service to their communities.

They said this could include visiting someone who was ill, or helping to feed the homeless.

The charities said a series of events is planned for New York City for 18 July.

In a statement, Mr Mandela said: "We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation."

The Nelson Mandela Foundation promotes the legacy of the former president.

The charity 46664 - which is the number Mr Mandela wore while he was in prison - was formed to increase awareness of HIV/Aids.

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