Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, passes away at 80

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New Delhi | Updated: August 18, 2018 5:45:09 PM

Former secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan passed away on Saturday morning.

Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, passes away at 80

Former secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan passed away on Saturday morning. Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize winner has died at the ripe old age of 80 years. He was born in Ghana in 1938 and served as the seventh Secretary-General of UN from 1997 to 2006. Annan was the first among others to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff. Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat. He had also served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Annan was a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders, founded in 2007, works for human rights. He became the Chairman of the group in 2013. The UN Migration Agency tweeted: “Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary.”

Annan was one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats. During his tenure as Secretary-General in the UN, Annan presided over some of the worst failures and scandals. UN’S current Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good.” Guterres further said, “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.” Even after demitting office, he keeps himself indulge in special roles like the UN-Arab League’s special envoy to Syria in 2012.

Kofi Annan was born on April 8, 1938, into an elite family in Ghana. He was the son of a provincial governor and grandson of two tribal chiefs. He completed his undergraduate courses in economics at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota, in 1961. For higher studies, he went to Geneva, where he studied in international affairs and started working for UN.

Before securing the top UN post, Annan had served for the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia, its Emergency Force in Egypt, and the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.

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