By Clare Nwaiwu
The United Nations has been thrown into mourning following the death of its former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who passed away after a short illness in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.
The agency took to its twitter handle to publish an official statement on. Anna, a celebrated Ghanaian diplomat was 80 years old.
Incumbent UN scribe, Antonio Guterres paid glowing tributes to the former Secretary-General, who headed the intergovernmental organisation from 1997 to 2006.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us,” Guterres said in a statement.[/penci_blockquote]
Guterres hailed Annan as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”
“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor.
“I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership.
“He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom – and I know I was not alone
“He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world.
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“In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us,” Guterres said in a statement.
Born in Kamasi, Ghana, on April 8, 1938, Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, after Egyptian diplomat, Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali exit in December 1996.
He joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, rising through the ranks to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance, and peacekeeping.
He served as UN Secretary-General for two consecutive five-year terms, beginning in January 1997.