By The Inspirer staff
Former Ghanaian diplomat, Kofi Atta Annan, who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006, has died of ‘short illness’ aged 80, the UN and Kofi Annan Foundation announced on Saturday, August 18, 2018.
Annan won the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work in 2001.
Below is a statement by the current UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, on the passing of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.
Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.
My heartfelt condolences to Nane Annan, their beloved family, and all who mourn the loss of this proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.
Kofi Annan’s biography
Kofi Annan, the founding chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and was the Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006. With the Foundation, Kofi Annan sought to mobilise political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights.
Born in Kumasi, Annan went on to study economics at Macalester College, international relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and management at MIT. Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization‘s Geneva office, according to Wikipedia. He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996. He was appointed as the Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself. He was re-elected for a second term in 2001, and was succeeded as Secretary-General by Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2007.
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