THE news of the demise of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, was broken by his family on Saturday, throwing the whole of Africa and the world in a state of mourning.
“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” read a statement issued by the Anan family.
It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness… pic.twitter.com/42nGOxmcPZ
— Kofi Annan (@KofiAnnan) August 18, 2018
Anan was one of Africa’s finest diplomats. He led the UN from January 1997 to December 2006, during which himself and the UN were awarded co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, and also Chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by another African legend, Nelson Mandela.
He joined the UN in 1962 and worked in several departments of the world body before he was appointed overall head. He handed over to Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea on January 1, 2007.
His family said he passed away gently in his sleep, in Berne, Switzerland.
The current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, described Anan as “a guiding force for good”. “I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all,” Guterres stated.
President Nana Akufo-Addo off Ghana paid tribute to Anan thus: “Consummate international diplomat and highly respected former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy this exalted position (of the UN Secretary-General).
“He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena. He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.
“I extend, on behalf of the entire Ghanaian nation, our sincere, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss.”
Akufo-Addo also directed that “in his honour, Ghana’s national flag will fly at half-mast across the country and in all of Ghana’s diplomatic missions across the world, from Monday, 20th August 2018, for one week”.
Many other world leaders also paid tribute to Anan, who has been described as a global statesman. Here is what they said:
The news of former United Nations Secretary General Mr. @KofiAnnan’s death comes as a great shock to us as we were with him only a few weeks ago when he visited South Africa. It is indeed a great loss to us and to the global community. pic.twitter.com/rNxr4ghNGf
— President Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) August 18, 2018
Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family. pic.twitter.com/P0SWagShJM
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan was a ‘purposeful optimist’ who spoke for the voiceless, a diplomat who worked for peace in a tumultuous world, and a leader who dedicated his life to advocating for the liberty and freedom of all mankind. We shall miss him. pic.twitter.com/15MijiC29f
— Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) August 18, 2018
A shock and a great loss! Kofi Annan Africa’s foremost son and international diplomat, our tall Iroko tree has died. His many contributions to Humanitarian, Development and Governance issues will not be forgotten.
— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) August 18, 2018
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) August 18, 2018
Sad to hear the news of the death of Kofi Annan. As a former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Laureate, he dedicated his life to human rights and building bridges between nations. He will always be remembered as a great humanitarian and a tireless advocate for peace.
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan dedicated his life to building a more just and peaceful world.
His efforts in support of conflict resolution and human rights will be remembered. He looked for a peaceful path when others looked for war.
My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 18, 2018
We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr. Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2018
Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. My condolences to his family and to the UN community #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 18, 2018
He lived and worked for global peace, security and sustainable development in very challenging times. A proud son of Ghana and Africa.
RIP Kofi Annan. pic.twitter.com/xevF6TZdOu
— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) August 18, 2018