Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan passes away in Switzerland

Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan passed away at a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.

He was 80 and was born in Ghana in 1938.

He was the first black African, to serve as the seventh UN Secretary-General from 1997-2006.

The former UN-Secretary was also Chairman and founder of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

A statement posted by the foundation on his Twitter account said, “It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness.

The UN Migration Agency tweeted: “Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement said, “ Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good.  It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing.  In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. “ 

“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honored 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.  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,” António said.

“My heartfelt condolences to Nane Annan, their beloved family, and all who mourn the loss of this proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity,” António added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow and grief on the demise of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

“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”, tweeted by PM.

Modi also added that Kofi Annan would always be remembered for his contribution to the MDGs.

“Mr. Kofi Annan’s significant contribution to the MDGs will always be remembered. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace”, another tweet by PM Modi.