Marking what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 99th birthday, the United Nations yesterday honoured his lifetime of service and dedication to justice and equality.“The best tribute we can pay this great man is not words or in ceremonies, but actions that improve our world,” Secretary-General António Guterres told a meeting of the General Assembly on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day.Observed annually on 18 July, the Day is meant to inspire people all over the world to make a positive difference in their communities by volunteering at least 67 minutes of their time in recognition of Mr. Mandela’s 67 years of public service.“Each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, sustainable development, and lives of dignity for all,” Mr. Guterres said.The UN chief said that he had met Mr. Mandela, also known as “Madiba”, and was struck by his wisdom, compassion, and humility.Known as prisoner 46664 for 18 years on Robben Island, Mr. Mandela did not succumb to bitterness or personal animosity, but rose above it all to lead his country, Mr. Guterres said.“One of the most important lessons we can learn from Nelson Mandela is that to make progress, we must look forward, however difficult that may be,” he said.Also addressing the General Assembly, the UN body’s current president, Peter Thomson, noted that Mr. Mandela’s fight for a world that is just and fair “remains as relevant today as it was during his lifetime.”With conflicts raging, human rights and democratic values eroded, widening inequality and over-exploitation of the environment, “today’s world is one in desperate need of President Mandela’s values of empathy, kindness, and respect for our common humanity.”His values, Mr. Thomson continued, urge the international community to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which envisions the world that Mr. Mandela wanted.Delivering his keynote address, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover called Mr. Mandela a “beacon of humanity triumphing over inhumanity through the force of his love for all people.”Mr. Glover invited everyone to look to his legacy not as admirers, but rather in the spirit of “ubuntu” or humanity towards others, which Mr. Mandela embodied.“Mandela led us on a path of justice, democracy and equity… in the process he showed the world that non-violence resistance, when combined with sustained activism, is the key to transforming a potential dead-end into a new beginning,” he said.As part of the commemoration, the UN partnered with the New York City Mayor’s office on projects, including a clean-up of a public section of New York City.
Bjorn Bonjean of Spirit Hills honey winery in Alberta is shown in in this undated handout photo. Bjorn Bonjean didn’t have trouble dating in southern Alberta — he just hadn’t found the right woman, when producers of a reality television show in Belgium came calling. The 28-year-old winemaker is one of five farmers from around the globe vying for the hearts of Belgian women in the show that echoes the long-running American dating series “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs.”Boer Zoekt Vrouw,” which translates to “Farmer Wants a Wife,” has been on the air for about 10 seasons but its latest stars bachelors in other countries who are originally from Belgium. HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS Advertisement “They roll up their sleeves, have a passion for their business, but they lack that nice Flemish woman,” says the show’s website.Filmed earlier this year, the show just started airing this week on the VTM network. Bonjean says he’s sworn to secrecy on the outcome set for November.“I can’t tell you if it ends with a proposal or not,” he says. “It’s not like ‘The Bachelor’ … The entire idea is to give the opportunity of something happening. But there’s no expectation of a proposal or even a relationship after it.”But Bonjean did reveal that he’s happy.“I’m happy with the choice that I’ve made.”Bonjean was seven when his family moved to Canada from Grobbendonk in northern Belgium. They now run Spirit Hills honey winery near Millarville, southwest of Calgary. Bonjean is head winemaker, using honey from the farm’s own beehives to create various wines and sangria.The show’s producers originally wanted both Bonjean and his sister to be part of the season, as bachelorettes have been featured in some versions of the show. But she was dating someone and didn’t speak Flemish or Dutch as well as her brother, said Bonjean.He was also dating someone at the time and turned down the offer. Months later, after a break up, he agreed to join the show.Bonjean said it’s nothing like “The Bachelor.” There are no rose ceremonies. And there’s little drama.After airing profiles of the five farmers, 1,500 women sent the show photos and letters. About 150 wanted to meet Bonjean.In the first episode, the bachelors travel to Belgium and, after putting on black eye masks, are lead into a horse riding arena and onto a stage of hay bales before a crowd of screaming women.They each meet 10 women in a speed-dating round and, after choosing five, go on an afternoon group date. They then select three to bring back to their home countries.Bonjean said it was awkward at first talking with potential partners while cameras were rolling, but he got used to it. He also used his trip to Belgium to visit with his grandmother and meet with wine importers, who agreed to market Spirit Hills in the country.“We chose Bjorn Bonjean as he’s good looking, in a good age category, and he runs a lovely, organic farm on a magical place on Earth,” the show’s story editor, Katrien Geens, said in an email.She also refused to hint at whether he finds love.“How it ends, remains a secret, until aired.”— By Chris Purdy in Edmonton Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook MILLARVILLE, Alta. — Bjorn Bonjean didn’t have trouble dating in southern Alberta, he just hadn’t found the right woman … then producers of a reality television show in Belgium came calling.The 28-year-old winemaker is one of five farmers from around the globe vying for the hearts of Belgian women in the show that’s similar to the long-running North American series “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs.“Boer Zoekt Vrouw,” which translates to “Farmer Wants a Wife,” has been on the air for about 10 seasons but its latest series stars bachelors in other countries who are originally from Belgium. Besides Bjorn from Canada, there’s Jitse, who runs a therapeutic care farm in Norway; Jeroen, a dairy farmer in Germany; Manu, an olive farmer in South Africa; and Jan, a cowboy in Australia.