Ghana’s celebrated diplomat, Kofi Annan, who served as the United Nations (UN) Secretary General between January 1997, and December 2006, is reported dead at the age of 80.
He is said to have died in the Swiss capital Bern in the early hours of Saturday.
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
Born in Kumasi, he joined the UN in 1962, working for the World health Organization’s (WHO) Office in Geneva.
He then went to serve in various capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as Under Secretary-General for peacekeeping from March 1992 to December 1996.
He was appointed the UN Chief in December 1996 by the Security Council and later confirmed by the General Assembly, becoming the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.
The late Annan was re-elected for a second term in 2001 and was succeeded by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon on January 01, 2007.
As Secretary-General, he worked to reform the UN bureaucracy, combat the deadly HIV spread, especially in Africa and launched the UN Global Compact.
After serving out his term, he formed the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development.
He was also the Chairman of “The Elders”, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
In 2012, the late Annan was the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to aid efforts at resolving the bloody conflict there but quit over his frustration with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution.
He was appointed to lead a UN Commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis in September 2016.
The late Annan studied economics at Macalester College – International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He is survived by his wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Anna, Kojo and Nina. GNA
University of Ghana saddened by the death of Kofi Annan
A statement signed by Ms Stella A Amoa, Director of Public Affairs, said the Principal Officers – Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, the Chancellor, Professor Yaw Twumasi, Chairman of the University Council and Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor, had all expressed shock at his death.
Mr Annan, the celebrated Ghanaian diplomat, died in the Swiss capital of Bern, in the early hours of Saturday at the age of 80.
The statement said “The University of Ghana and the world have indeed lost a distinguished leader who was incomparable in all respects.
He demonstrated true servant and selfless leadership, always wishing the best for his nation and the world. A true peace maker he was.”
Mr. Annan was Chancellor of the University from 2008 to July this year, when he ended his tenure.
At the recent investiture ceremony of his successor, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo described Mr. Kofi Annan as “one of Ghana’s most illustrious sons under whose stewardship the University attained the rank as one of the best universities in West Africa”.
The statement said “as Chancellor, Mr. Kofi Annan was instrumental in attracting numerous funding sources to the university especially in the areas of agricultural research and ICT development”.
“The former Chancellor, will be remembered as a man of principle and gentle disposition.”
“The University mourns with the family and shall cling to the memory of his life, his avowed passion for the University, and his legacy,” it added. GNA
Kofi Annan Foundation statement: The Death of former UN Secretary General
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 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. 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 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.
The family kindly requests privacy at this time of mourning. Arrangements to celebrate his remarkable life will be announced later.