Kofi Annan was an exceptional leader; we’ll miss him immensely – UN boss
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has paid glowing tribute to a man who once occupied the seat, Kofi Atta Annan.
Describing the former UN boss who died aged 80 as one of a kind, the UN Boss said those in despair always found in Kofi Annan a comforting shoulder to lean on.
“The art of diplomacy is to say nothing, especially when speaking, but Kofi Annan will say everything, sometimes by simply saying nothing,” he said.
Mr Guterres said even though Mr Annan’s voice was spectacularly gentle, his words were tough and wise.
He said the gravest the situation Mr Annan faced, “the lowest the voice.”
The UN Secretary-General, who worked with the late Kofi Annan for many years, praised the late iconic diplomat as a courageous man who spoke truth to power.
Not only that, he was a force for good in a world of ills.
He listed the late Ghanaian’s “remarkable achievements” to include the opening of the doors of the UN, defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDs.
In sum, “Kofi Annan was the UN and the UN was Kofi Annan,” he declared to a rapturous applause from the sea of mourners crammed in the Accra International Conference Centre in the capital.
Touching on their personal relationship, Mr Guterres said Mr Annan “was a good friend, we marched together, he from the UN and I from Portugal."
The former Portuguese Prime Minister who now walks in Kofi Annan’s shoes said, he was inspired by the integrity and dynamism of the Ghanaian.
He said the late South African President, Nelson Mandela, often referred to Kofi Annan as “My Leader.”
“If we listen, we will still hear the wise words of Kofi Annan,” admonishing us to “take care of each other and our planet,” he said.