nelson mandela

A memorial for Nelson Mandela

A look back at Madiba's diplomatic legacy, from Sohaela Amiri.

Public diplomacy fans should read the list of the 10 biggest public diplomacy stories of last year. Thanks to the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, we can see the global trends and how public diplomats are responding to those trends.

CPD announces the 10 most significant public diplomacy stories of 2013 as part of its review of global trends that are shaping the field. To narrow our list of 1,500 stories to 50, we took into account the following factors: the frequency of the story being covered in various news sources, the implications of the public diplomacy event, the credibility of sources publishing the news about the PD moment, and the frequency of an actor’s participation in public diplomacy activities either as the initiator or receiver of public diplomacy.

Mere weeks after the farce surrounding who would represent Israel at the memorial service of former South African President Nelson Mandela, another ridiculous situation is developing over the Israeli delegation to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, which opens on January 22. Senior Israeli officials are apparently less eager to pass on the exclusive annual conference that takes place in the luxury Swiss ski resort.

Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa will be the key figures in a UN campaign to promote peace in Colombia. The United Nations representative in Colombia, Fabrizio Hochschild, announced on Thursday that that the “Peace is Mine” initiative aims to promote peace in the country through the iconic use of these “two huge global figures.”

December 17, 2013

During the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela, as tens of thousands gathered in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg and millions more watched on television, an entirely different story emerged: the ten-second interaction between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

I knew Nelson Mandela's name almost as soon as I knew my own. Over the hum of Saturday morning cartoons, my South African mother told me Nelson Mandela was her hero. She explained that South Africa was her home, and that was where Mandela came from. As a child, I couldn't comprehend her stories about South Africa and Mandela's bravery—my mother's home seemed like a myth—but as I grew older, I began to understand her stories.

When South African President Jacob Zuma stood at the microphone before a sea of mourners, the first notes of his unexpected song for liberation hero Nelson Mandela were lonely and poignant. But the magic of the answering harmony of the mourners rose under a soaring, domed black ceiling that looked something like a night sky.