Guterres, Buhari, Obama, others pay tributes to Kofi Annan


A torrent of glowing tributes has been poured on the former UN secretary general and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan, who died on Saturday, August 18 at age 80.

Annan was the U.N.’s first black secretary general from sub-Saharan Africa, who, during his 10 years in that post, collected the Nobel Peace Prize and built a reputation as one of the world’s most beloved diplomats, despite presiding over the U.N. during a volatile decade marked by wars and terrorism.

His death, resulting from a short but unspecified illness, sent shock waves through the global political community, prompting world leaders, past and present as well as organisations and blocs to issue tributes. Flags outside the U.N. headquarters will fly at half-mast for three days, the organization announced.

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general

Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all.”

Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana president

“The Government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr. Kofi Annan.

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian president

“Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations’ bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.”

Emmanuel Macron, French president

“We will never forget his calm and resolute approach to matters, nor the strength of his commitments.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s

“A diplomat extraordinaire, we will remember Mr @KofiAnnan for his commitment, his leadership and his tireless efforts to advance the African agenda. Our thoughts are with his wife, Nane, his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Jeremy Corbyn- British opposition leader

“Kofi Annan dedicated his life to building a more just and peaceful world. His efforts in support of conflict resolution and human rights will be remembered. He looked for a peaceful path when others looked for war. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign ministry

“Extremely saddened by passing of Kofi Annan, a toweing global leader and an unwavering champion for peace, justice and rule of law. Rest in peace my dear old friend.”

Barack Obama, former US president

“Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.”

Margot Wallstrom, Swedish foreign minister

“Tragic to learn about Kofi Annan’s death. He personified what is best about the UN, and also had to deal with some of its hardest challenges. A great listener and someone who made everyone want to listen.”

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand prime minister

“The world has lost a great humanitarian, leader, and self proclaimed ‘stubborn optimist’. Rest in peace, Kofi Annan.”

Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister

“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.”

Theresa May, British prime minister

“Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

Vladimir Putin, Russian president

“I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most complex, critical situations. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russians.”

Angela Merkel, German chancellor

“Kofi Annan never gave up working for the good in the world. [He] knew how to get people engaged, and became a role model, especially for young people all over the world.”

Desmond Tutu, former South African archbishop

“We give great thanks to God for Kofi Annan, an outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness, integrity and distinction.”

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, UN human rights chief

“In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful.” –

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister

“A towering global leader and an unwavering champion for peace, justice and rule of law.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, EU chief

“Today, the world mourns a great leader and humanitarian but celebrates a life full of courage, empathy and remarkable public service. He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful and united place.

“He fought to end suffering and injustices across the world and helped to rebuild bridges where they had been destroyed.”

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general

“The UN and the world have lost one of their giants.”

Nelson Mandela Foundation

“We are devastated … Africa and the world has lost a special human being.”

Sesame Street

“A relentless champion for peace and a passionate ambassador for Sesame Street and the world’s children.”, CBS News, Washington Post, Time


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