His fight against apartheid "marks a landmark in human rights and freedom", he added, thanking the South African government for donating the statue
Nelson Mandela statue
A statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the UN headquarters on Monday to honour the South African President's 100th birth anniversary.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the ceremony that Mandela "embodied the highest values of the United Nations -- peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity", Xinhua news agency reported.
His fight against apartheid "marks a landmark in human rights and freedom", he added, thanking the South African government for donating the statue.
A high-level meeting, the Mandala Peace Summit, was scheduled for Monday at the UN for world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives.
The UN member states decided in December 2017 to hold the meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth.
Mandela was born in July 1918 and died five years ago due to respiratory infection. He was imprisoned for 27 years for his role in the fight against apartheid and became the first black President of South Africa.