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Candlelight gathering to commemorate Nelson Mandela

Press Release   •   Dec 12, 2013 19:15 CET

On Sunday 15th of December, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela will be buried in his hometown Qunu in South Africa. On the same day, at 16.00, a candlelight gathering and statements will take place in front of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is among the speakers. 

The event will honour the man who fought apartheid, the political prisoner, the president and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Mandela´s never-ending battle for democracy, equality, justice, peace and reconciliation, and against racism, oppression and poverty, makes him an icon in the history of the world. 

Organisers are:
The Nobel Peace Center, The Norwegian Centre Against Racism, Norwegian Church Aid, Amnesty International, Council of Ecumenical and International Relations, Norwegian People´s Aid, The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, Norwegian Council for Africa, Rainforest Foundation, Youth Against Racism, the Socialist Left Party, Global Dignity, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, The Socialist Youth League, KFUK-KFUM Global, Norway Social Forum, Red Youth and the Church City Mission, The Christian Democrats (KrF), The Liberal Party, Kristent Interkulturelt Arbeid (KIA), Changemaker, The Red Party, Norwegian Green Party, The Young Liberals of Norway, The Centre Party and The Young Christian Democrats (KrFU). 

Welcome by Bente Erichsen, Executive Director, Nobel Peace Center
Statement by Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
Statement by H.E. Queen Anne Zondo, South Africa's Embassador to Norway
Statement by Knut Vollebæk, Embassador and former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Statement by Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary, Norwegian Church Aid
Statement by Gunnar Stålsett, member of the Nobel Committee 
Artistic interlude by Sarah Camille Ramin Osmundsen og Amina Sewali

- This is first and foremost a time to reflect on how we all can contribute to the continuation of Mandela's legacy to fight racism and for equality for all, states the Director of the Norwegian Centre Against Racism, Rune Berglund Steen. 

- We will congregate in deep respect for Nelson Mandela, to commemorate his life´s work. At the same time, we will remember all that he accomplished, and use it as an inspiration in our lives, says Bente Erichsen, Executive Director at the Nobel Peace Center. 

All participants are asked to light a candle in memory of a great human being and to reflect on how we can contribute to keep his legacy alive.

Organisations wishing to participate can contact 

Time and place: Sunday 15 December at 16.00 in front of the Nobel Peace Center, City Hall Square in Oslo. 

The Nobel Peace Center is a museum that presents the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work, in addition to telling the story of Alfred Nobel. It is an arena for debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution. The Nobel Peace Center works where politics and culture intersect, and the Center is internationally recognized for its emphasis on documentary photography and interactive technology. Changing exhibitions, engaging digital solutions, films, seminars and events make for a varied and exciting experience. 

The Nobel Peace Center is an independent foundation, with the Norwegian Nobel Committee appointing the board. Geir Lundestad is the leader of  the board, Bente Erichsen is the Executive Director. The Nobel Peace Center is financed by a combination of public and private funds. Main sponsors and collaborating partners are Hydro, Telenor Group, ABB and The Football Association of Norway (NFF).