The United Nations among others are mourning the death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who passed away peacefully after a short illness, according to a statement published on his official Twitter account on Saturday.
The current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid glowing tributes to the former Secretary-General, who headed the intergovernmental organisation from 1997 to 2006.
The renowned Ghanaian diplomat was 80 years old.
His foundation announced his death on Saturday and the late UN scribe reportedly died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.
Guterres hailed Annan as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”
“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,” Guterres said in a statement.
He added: “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 us.”
Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, after Egyptian diplomat, Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali exit in December 1996.
He was born in Kamasi, Ghana, on April 8, 1938. He then joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, rising through the ranks to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance, and peacekeeping.
He served as UN Secretary-General for two consecutive five-year terms, beginning in January 1997.
Below are some of the tributes:
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
Incredibly sad day to wake up to the news that the wonderful Kofi Annan is no longer with us – he was an extraordinary individual who committed his life to guiding the world to a better place.
Rest well Sir,Ghana and Africa is proud of you.🇬🇭 pic.twitter.com/9R9g7FZGGJ
— André Ayew (@AyewAndre) 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, humanitarianism and peace between nations. He was a constant force for the good. A sad loss.
Kofi Annan RIP pic.twitter.com/fbNyaLaIYU
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan was a dedicated champion for justice and human rights. His outstanding legacy includes reconciliatory efforts that birthed the grand coalition and changed the course of our Nation.
My sincere condolences to his family and the people of Ghana. pic.twitter.com/NStpQpayQU
— Hon. Esther M Passaris (@EstherPassaris) 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
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
I have 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.
Rest in perfect peace, Kofi. You have earned it. God bless. 7/7
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) August 18, 2018