Former UN Secretary General and one of the most celebrated world top diplomat Kofi Annan has died in Swiss city of Bern after a short illness on Saturday. He was the first black person to head UN who became charismatic symbol of the world body during his two stints.
The Ghanian career diplomat, born in 1938, served as the chief of the world organization between 1997 and 2006, having been elected for the two times. Annan joined the UN in 1962 after studying management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and travelled to the top of the world body’s hierarchy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while expressing his feelings said, “We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.”
Ghanian President Nana Akufo-Addo said, “The Government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr Kofi Annan.” He added that flags at the country’s government offices and diplomatic missions would fly at half-staff for a week.
Antonio Guterres, the president UN Secretary General has expressed his sorrow saying, “Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most complex, critical situations. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russians.”
Foremr US President Barack Obama said, “Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.”
European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, “Today, the world mourns a great leader and humanitarian but celebrates a life full of courage, empathy and remarkable public service. He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful and united place.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “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.”
German Chancellor Angela Markel said, “Kofi Annan never gave up working for the good in the world. [He] knew how to get people engaged, and became a role model, especially for young people all over the world.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said, “Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations’ bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said, “We will never forget his calm and resolute approach to matters, nor the strength of his commitments. He fought to end suffering and injustices across the world and helped to rebuild bridges where they had been destroyed.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The UN and the world have lost one of their giants.”
Swidish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said, “Tragic to learn about Kofi Annan’s death. He personified what is best about the UN, and also had to deal with some of it’s hardest challenges. A great listener, and someone who made everyone want to listen.”