UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The UN flag will be flown at half-staff at the world body's headquarters in New York City Friday to mark the upcoming funeral of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died at the age of 95 a week ago, announced UN spokesman Martin Nesirky here Thursday.
Mandela's funeral will be held Sunday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was in South Africa to attend Mandela's memorial service Tuesday, paid tribute to the late Mandela, saying that the life and legacy of the former South African president was an inspiration not only for his country but also for the world.
"This grandest of all baobab trees left deep roots that reach across the planet," Ban said, addressing a rain-soaked crowd at the soccer stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 World Cup.
Affectionately known as "Madiba," Mandela, the human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was the first democratically-elected president of post-apartheid South Africa.