Kofi Annan: A champion of peace and best example of humanity
4 months ago, 18 Aug 14:49
Kofi Annan's roles as a humanitarian took centre stage following his death on Saturday; the world has plenty to remember him for.
Annan was former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.
In a statement announcing his death, his family and the foundation described him as a "global statesman and 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," the statement stated.
“After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the foundation and as chair of the Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old like."
A LONG GLOBAL CAREER
Kofi Annan was born into an aristocratic family in Ghana on April 8, 1938.
His career at the UN began in 1962 with a budget officer role at the World Health Organization.
Annan took a break from global initiatives from 1974 to 1976, when he worked as the director of tourism in Ghana.
notes that from 1987 to 1996, he consecutively served as an assistant secretary-general in Human Resources, Management and Security Coordinator; Program Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller; and Peacekeeping Operations.
Annan was under-secretary-general from March 1994 to October 1995. He resumed the position in 1996 after a five-month appointment to serve as a special representative of the secretary-general to the former Yugoslavia.
As noted in the biography, the United Nations Security Council recommended that he replace the previous secretary-general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, in 1996.
After a successful vote by the General Assembly, he started the role on January 1, 1997.
As head of UN peacekeeping operations, Annan was criticised for the world body's failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
Canadian ex-General Roméo Dallaire, who has been the force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, accused him of being overly passive in his responses to the killings of at least 800,000 people.
Ten years later, Annan admitted that he "could and should have done more to sound the alarm and rally support," according to a BBC article.
Annan brokered a peace deal for Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, that ended post-election turmoil in 2008. He described the experience as his toughest ever.
The mediator led the Panel of Eminent African Personalities convened by the African Union in the negotiations that followed the disputed December 27, 2007 elections.
The peace accord signed on February 28, 2008 birthed the Grand Coalition Government led by the two leaders.
Annan served two terms as UN Secretary-General in New York from 1997-2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.
"In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through ...
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