Former UN Secretary General, Koffi Annan Dies At 80

18 August, 2018, 17:59 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Former UN Secretary General, Koffi Annan Dies At 80

The family and foundation of former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, have confirmed his death and provided additional information on his final moments.

The Ghanaian national died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of this morning.

He was recently pictured meeting Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his role as chair of The Elders - an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.

UN Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres also voiced deep sorrow at the news, calling Annan "a guiding force for good".

He rose through its ranks to become the first black African Secretary General. His critics blamed him for the UN's failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s when he was head of the organisation's peacekeeping operations.

He was the first black African to lead the United Nations, serving two terms between 1997 and 2006.

"Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor".

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Mr Blair's spell in No 10 coincided with Mr Annan's time as secretary-general and the pair clashed over the 2003 invasion of Iraq, by United States and British troops - a war which Mr Annan called illegal.

He and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 2001 "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world".

"We give great thanks to God for the outstanding Kofi Annan, an outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness, integrity and distinction", said Tutu in a statement issued by his office.

Describing Annan "as a great leader and diplomat extraordinaire", Ramaphosa in a statement said that Annan had "advanced the African agenda within the United Nations" and had "flown the flag for peace" around the world.

He said Mr Annan was "widely respected and will be greatly missed".

Annan did not stop his diplomatic role after the end of his term with the UN, he unsuccessfully served as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria in 2012, a role he quit after frustrations due to lack of progress to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Annan's remains would be flown back to Ghana for burial. After studying in Ghana and Macalester College in St. Paul, in the USA state of Minnesota, he joined the United Nations in 1962 as a low-ranking officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva.

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