UN mourns Kofi Annan: In many ways, he was the United Nations – Guterres

By Editor on August 19, 2018

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Kofi Annan

The death of former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has taken away, a man who in many ways represents the UN, Antonio Guterres, said on Saturday, hours after the passing of Africa and world's most successful diplomats.

Annan died at age 80 in the early hours of Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, according to a statement issued by his family.

The Nobel Peace Laureate was the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006, and became the first black African man to take on the top job as the world’s top diplomat.

He was founder and Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, which issued a statement on social media, saying: “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...”

“His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days,” it said.

“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”


United Nations chief Antonio Guterres voiced deep sorrow at the news his predecessor had passed away, calling him “a guiding force for good”.

“Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good,” Guterres said in a statement shortly after news broke of Annan’s passing.

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” he added.

Business magnate Sir Richard Branson also tweeted that the world will be a “poorer place” without Annan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Annan “inspired me and many others with his ideas, his firm convictions and, not least, his charisma.”

Ms Merkel says in a statement that Annan shaped the United Nations “like hardly anyone before him” and said that “he knew how to spark enthusiasm, particularly among young people.”

Ms Merkel added that “in our present time, in which the common search for solutions to global problems is more urgent than ever, we will greatly miss Kofi Annan’s voice.”

Kofi Annan was a popular and unifying figure who quickly became a familiar face on television and in newspaper headlines. He was a sought-after guest at gala events and New York dinner parties.

The UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was grief-stricken over Annan’s death.

“Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful,” he said.

“He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”

His home country of Ghana has now declared a week of mourning after his death.

Describing Annan as a “consummate” diplomat, Ghana’s Presdient Akufo-Addo said in a statement that Ghana was “deeply saddened” by news of his death.

 

Source whirlwindnews.com

Posted on August, 19 2018

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