The Guardian

The global rise of nationalism is a threat to Nelson Mandela’s achievements | Graça Machel

My late husband spent his life fighting for freedom and human rights. Those democratic freedoms are now at peril from the rising tide of populism• Graça Machel is co-founder of the Elders
South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel arrive during the closing ceremony prior to the 2010 World Cup football final Netherlands vs. Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg. NO PUSH TO MOBILE / MOBILE USE SOLELY WITHIN EDITORIAL ARTICLE - / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / Getty Images

This week has been particularly emotional for me. The world marked the birthday of my late husband Nelson Mandela. Everything he stood for still endures and the need to continue working towards protecting freedoms around the world is as important today as it ever has been.

Through my work with , an independent group of ex-world leaders established by Mandela, I have seen first-hand the many levels of progress in the fight against

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