World mourns Kofi Annan, UN flag at half mast

World leaders have since Saturday taken turns to pay tribute to the departed world icon of politics, peace and diplomacy,…

World leaders have since Saturday taken turns to pay tribute to the departed world icon of politics, peace and diplomacy, Kofi Annan.

The UN flag on saturday was flown at half mast in honour of the memory of the former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, who died in Switzerland.

After the death of Mr. Annan, former Ghanaian Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama and some world leaders, including the UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, have paid glowing tributes.

Others are the British Prime Minister, Theresa May; Russian leader, Vladimir Putin; French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kofi Atta Annan, son of Kodandros section of Kumasi, Ghana born on April 8, 1938 died in a hospital at the Swiss City of Bern reportedly from a short illness. He had been living near Geneva for several years. Reports say Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced a week of mourning for one of their greatest compatriots. Indeed, Kofi Annan enters the world history book of records as the first and for now the lone African South of the Sahara to accede to the position of the UN Secretary-General. On December 13, 1996, the UN Security Council recommended him to replace the previous Secretary-General of the UN, Egyptian-born Boutros Boutros-Ghali whose second term faced the veto of the   United States of America. The accession of Kofi Annan to the post of UN Secretary-General came to crown his long years of work at the UN that started in 1980 when he became the head of personnel for the office of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva and in 1983 he became the director of administrative management services of the UN Secretariat in New York.

During the two terms Kofi Annan served as UN Secretary-General, his main priorities were  a comprehensive programme of reform that sought to revitalize the United Nations and make the international system more effective,  a constant advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa. He is celebrated to have  played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by Member States of the “responsibility to protect” people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

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