The late Nelson Mandela personified true democratic leadership, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly said on Friday.
The world body paid this tribute to the departed former South African President in a statement issued in New York and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The statement recalled that Mr. Mandela became the first black and democratically elected President of South Africa in 1994, embracing his former oppressors and leading the country on a new path of healing.
“By so doing, Mr. Mandela chose reconciliation over revenge, hope over despair. As he so eloquently said in his inaugural address: "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”
The statement expressed the hope that those words of Mandela would serve as a reminder of his greatness and the legacy he had left behind to a grateful nation and an admiring world.
“We must become bigger than we have ever been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance, not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community", the statement said.
It indicated that even though his demise was indeed an immensely sad event for the world, "yet his heroic spirit will remain with us all."
Former South African President Mr. Mandela died on Thursday at age 95.
He led South Africa's transition from the white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.
He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.