Geneva – Kofi Annan – one of the world’s greatest peacemakers has passed away at the age of 80 and world leaders are paying tributes in droves.
His family announced he had died after a short illness. He had lived in Switzerland in recent years.
“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretan-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” it was announced.
“His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days.”
“Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”
“After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike”
Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa, his family said.
“He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).”
“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with hi’s deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”
Annan tried to stop the catastrophic US war on Iraq in 2003. A war that ultimately gave birth to the terrorist group ISIS.
Twitter lit up with tributes from present and former leaders and thousands of admirers.
“Kofi Annan was 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,” said Antonio Gutteres, the current UN secretary general.
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said : “I was profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He was a dear friend and one of the world’s foremost advocates for peace, development, and international understanding.”
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said, “I recently met with Mr. Annan ahead of the One Young World global forum in 2016. He believed deeply in the power and potential of young people. He recognized their innate sense of a world that has never been more interconnected or interdependent, and knew that young people, in many ways, had more to teach us than we had to teach them.”
“Today, we reflect on the lesson Kofi Annan shared with us at the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa convening: that one is never too young to lead, or too old to learn. A leader since his youth, a learner till his passing, we mourn the loss of our friend,” the Obama Foundation said.
“Kofi Annan was one of the great peacemakers of our time. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him on many occasions. I’m sad to learn of his death,” Bill Gates said.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday declared a week of mourning to pay homage to former UN chief and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan.
Among hundreds paying tributes was Indian PM Narendra Modi: 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.”
Russian President Putin: “I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most difficult and critical situations. The memory of him will forever live in the hearts of Russians.”
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday declared a week of mourning to pay homage to former UN chief and Nobel laureate.
Annan was the first black African to lead the UN.
— The Elders (@TheElders) August 18, 2018