Tributes are pouring in for Ghana’s celebrated diplomat - former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died in the early hours of Saturday in the Swiss capital, Berne, at the age of 80.
He passed on in a hospital after a short illness, with the wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Anna, Kojo and Nina by his side.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, took to twitter to express sadness about Annan’s death.
“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”, he tweeted.
He added that the late Annan was a guiding force for good.
Former President, John Dramani Mahama described the late UN Secretary-General as a person who spent his life working for global peace, security and sustainable development.
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British Prime Minister, Theresa May, also tweeted, “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 that the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”
The South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Lulu Xingwana, wrote this about the passing of Mr Annan: “condolences to the family and the people of Ghana for the passing of Kofie Annan, a world icon. His passing is a great loss to Africa and the world! We will all mourn and miss him but his legacy will live on forever! May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
Colombia’s Ambassador to Ghana, Claudia Turbay also wrote: “My condolences for this great loss. He was very clearly admired globally. Colombia is always thankful for his presence and support in the peace process. Our solidarity to his family, to the government and to the people of Ghana as well as to the international community and very specially to the UN system.”
Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a tweet he was grief-stricken over Annan's death.
He said: “I am grief-stricken over the death of Kofi Annan. Kofi was the epitome of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, the world’s loss becomes even more painful. He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”
Mr Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said in a tweet: “Saddened to hear that Kofi Annan has passed away. His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness.
Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time. The UN and the world have lost one of their giants,” he added.
Mr Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, said "the world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security".
The family and the foundation named after him said Kofi Annan, the 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.