The United Nations on Wednesday held a memorial service for the late former Secretary General Kofi Annan, who passed away on 18 August after a short illness.
During the wreath-laying ceremony in New York, the current chief Antonio Guterres led UN staff members in paying their respects to the Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary General of the agency for two terms, from 1997.
“Kofi Annan’s years in office were an exciting time. He put forward new ideas. He brought new people into the United Nations family. He spoke passionately about our mission and role. He created a renewed sense of possibility both inside and outside our organization about what the UN could do and be for the world’s people,” Guterres said.
“His most defining features were his humanity and solidarity with those in need. He put people at the centre of the work of the United Nations, and was able to turn compassion into action across the UN system.”
The UN flag outside the headquarters was flown at half-mast for three days following the announcement of Annan’s death. Staff members have also been filling a book of condolences, noting their sympathy to the deceased’s family.
Plans for Annan’s burial are yet to be announced.