On Monday, in a speech inside the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York City Mayor Eric Adams compared the global fight against COVID-19 to Nelson Mandela’s decades-long struggle for freedom.
As a tribute to the late South African leader’s 104th birthday, Adams said the African icon proved throughout his life that a commitment to “freedom” can lead humanity out of “dark times.”
“The ongoing COVID, war, and crime crisis have imprisoned us in our own Robben Island prisons.” But these are temporary conditions. “They are not life sentences,” Adams said.
Adams also said his own life story is marked with strife.
But I knew it was not the end, not a burial. And today, I stand before you energized for all that I have endured on my journey, too, “Adams added.
“That Mandela-like energy will allow us to turn our pain into purpose,” he said.
According to reports, others attending the UN’s annual Mandela celebration included Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.