The United Nations is mourning the death of former Secretary-General Kofi Anan, who passed away on Saturday morning, aged 80.
Anan’s family in a statement said the renowned Ghanaian diplomat passed away after a short illness.
Current UN chief Antonio Guterres hailed him 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,” Guterres said in a statement.
Kofi Annan was born on 8 April 1938 in Kamasi, Ghana.
He joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization 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.
Guterres also hailed Anan as being someone who initiated dialogue in various situations across the world.
“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.”