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The Secretary-General of the United Nations has described Kofi Annan as a guiding force for good.
In a statement, Antonio Guterres said Mr. Annan’s legacy will remain a “true inspiration for all of us.”
The former UN Secretary-General died Saturday in Switzerland after a protracted illness.
Statement by the Secretary-General 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.
The Man Kofi Annan
Mr. Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations.
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 officeholder 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.
Kofi Atta Annan was born on 8 April 1938 in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He is the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
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.
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.
As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy; worked to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact. He has been criticized for not expanding the Security Council and faced calls for resignation after an investigation into the Oil-for-Food Programme.
After leaving the UN, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development. In 2012, Annan was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there.
Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution. In September 2016, Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis.
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