Former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has died.
Annan, who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006, died in Switzerland on Saturday morning after a short illness, aged 80.
"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 family said in a statement.
World Mourns, As Ghana Flies Flag At Half-Mast For One Week
Tributes have continued to pour in for Nobel Peace Laureate and former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who passed away on Saturday morning.
He headed the Kofi Annan Foundation, before he passed away on Saturday, August 18, after a short illness.
Annan was committed to promoting world peace, a position which was the focal point of his career, when he was Secretary-General of the UN.
After stepping down from his position at the UN, he maintained his determination to ensure world peace, and was especially engaged in many endeavours that brought development to Africa, himself being from Ghana.
According to the statement by the Kofi Annan Foundation, “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. He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system. He will remain in our hearts forever."
To celebrate the icon, Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo has ordered that Ghana’s national flags across the country would fly at half-mast for a week.
The President also lauded Annan, stating that he had brought considerable renown to the country by his position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena.
“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,” he tweeted via his personal account, @NAkufoAddo.
Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May, António Guterres and Michael Daapah also shared condolence messages eulogising the late icon.
Theresa May tweeted: “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.”
Børge Brende, President of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum, said: “Kofi Annan was a true global statesman who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. A true son of Africa that always reached out and touched people with his deep compassion and empathy. Kofi will be dearly missed – a very courageous statesman.”
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, who tweeted in French stated: “Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the UN and Nobel Peace Prize, left this world overnight. France pays homage to him. We will never forget his calm and resolute look, nor the strength of his struggles.”
Prominent Nigerians have also reacted to his death.
President Muhammadu Buhari, via a tweet on his handle, @MBuhari commiserated with the the government and people of Ghana over Annan’s passing.
The tweet, which revealed that Buhari had called the Ghanaian President from London also noted that “all Nigerians and ECOWAS member countries share in the deep loss, considering the strategic influence of the former scribe in global affairs and his vision for the repositioning of the West Africa and Africa.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki, in a condolence message on twitter, said: “Kofi Annan was a ‘purposeful optimist’ who spoke for the voiceless, a diplomat who worked for peace in a tumultuous world, and a leader who dedicated his life to advocating for the liberty and freedom of all mankind. We shall miss him.”
A tweet by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, read: “It is with a great sense of loss that I received the news of the passing on of former Secretary General of the United Nations @UN, Mr @KofiAnnan. Even with the awareness that death is an inevitable end, even for great men, it does not reduce the feeling of profound loss. His contributions to the upliftment of the human race will never be forgotten. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, the Ghanaian government and the global community. May his soul find eternal rest.”
Minister of Finance under former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her condolence message, stated: “A shock and a great loss! Kofi Annan, Africa’s foremost son and international diplomat, our tall Iroko tree has died. His many contributions to humanitarian, development and governance issues will not be forgotten.”
Annan was actively involved in the signing of the Abuja Peace Accord preceding Nigeria's 2015 elections. Presidential candidates had signed a five-point agreement, referred to as the Abuja Accord, to show their commitment to peace during the election. President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan, alongside nine other presidential candidates signed the Accord. The event was witnessed by Kofi Annan.