The former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian who served as UN secretary general between 1997 and 2006, dies aged 80.
The former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, has died at the age of 80 after a short illness, his family and foundation announced on Saturday 18th August 2018 after a short illness.
The Ghanaian was the seventh secretary general and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation, in 2001.
He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday with his wife, Nane, and three children Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side. He had retired to Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village.
Annan’s foundation issued a statement on his Twitter account on Saturday that described him as a global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.
The statement added that Annan, who succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN leader, was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa.
The current UN secretary general, António Guterres, whom Annan appointed to lead its refugee agency, said: In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nation. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.
Video of Appointment of Mr Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the United Nations-1996
The former UK prime minister Tony Blair said on Twitter that he was shocked and distressed by Annan’s death. He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago. Kofi Annan was a great diplomat, a true statesman and a wonderful colleague who was widely respected and will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy go to Nane and his family, he said.