Post imageThe world is mourning a great loss, and celebrating a great life.  Nelson Mandela was a man of courage, and a visionary for peace.

Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) with Nelson Mandela. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Madiba dedicated his life to freedom and equality.  He helped bring peace to his nation, and hope to the entire world.  His legacy lives on in the people he has inspired.  Because of him our world is better.

I had the opportunity to get to know Madiba as a friend, and to work with him.  He was the founding patron of the Peace Parks Foundation, builders of conflict-free areas designed across the borders of South Africa and into surrounding nations.  You see – he did not just talk about peace, he was a visionary who found and supported pathways to create peace.

“In a world beset by conflicts and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future,” he once said. “Peace parks are a building block in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.”

Madiba envisioned peace for the entire world and at his personal request, I traveled to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to explore how we might establish a new park to further the cause of peace.  Again, I saw a true and unique opportunity in Madiba’s vision.

Working together to develop peace parks across borders and the world over, will feed the seeds of peace, promoting cooperation among all people.

Peace parks are an important part of ensuring that Madiba’s vision continues to improve our world.  We can best honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy by continuing to work for a better world.

Ted Turner is the Founder and Chairman of the United Nations Foundation.