World Leaders Remember Kofi Annan
The death of Koffi Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats has drawn overflowing sadness among world leaders and the international community.
The former UN Secretary General died at the age of 80, but he will be surely be missed and as a champion of peace, his works and achievements in international diplomacy will serve as inspiration to world leaders and the young generation.
Ex-US President Barack Obama said Annan had always pursued “a better world.”
President Putin said the memory of Annan would “forever live in the hearts of Russians.”
His death once again shone a spotlight on his stellar works for the betterment of humanity and his work in the United Nations. World leaders also paid tribute for the man they considered a visionary and a gentle peacemaker.
Mr Annan spent almost his entire career as an administrator in the UN and served two terms as secretary-general from January 1997 to December 2006.
As Champion For Peace
Mr. Anna was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. Mr Annan advocated to promote global peace, security and sustainable development.
One of his works on peace was his courageous efforts to end violence in Syria. In fact, as the Joint Special Envoy for Syria and as part of his efforts, Mr. Annan put forward a six-point peace plan to help end the Syrian crisis.
Mr. Annan took on the heavy task of trying to bring an end to the killing of civilians in Syria and to forge a path toward a peaceful political transition and an inclusive, representative post-Assad Syria.
His advocacy for global peace gained admiration and respect from world leaders as well.
Current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good.”
On Human Rights
As secretary-general, Annan was instrumental in making human rights central to the United Nations. He advocated for rights promotion to be a primary focus of the organization on par with peace and development. During his tenure, new human rights mechanisms were introduced and existing ones were strengthened. One good example for these mechanisms were the establishment of the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review, which subjects all UN member states to scrutiny by their peers.
Aside from that, Mr. Annan’s passion for a conflict-free world continued after leaving his position as Secretary General of the United Nations. He played a central role in conflict prevention through his work at the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders.
After the announcement of Mr. Annan’s death this week, The Kofi Annan Foundation said in a statement “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.”
Biography of the Great Visionary
Mr Annan was born in 1938 in Ghana, the son of a provincial governor.
Before becoming secretary-general, Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office. 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.
Annan was fluent in English, French, Akan, some Kru languages and other African languages.