Tributes laud Annan as man of peace and champion of rights

Later in his career, Kofi Annan (C - standing) joined the Elders group of statesman, pictured here in 2010: (From L) Graca Machel, former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US president Jimmy Carter, former Irish president Mary Robinson, Annan, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former Indian parliamentarian Ela Bhatt, former UN special representative Lakhdar Brahimi and former South African president Nelson Mandela (seated). [AFP]
Tributes have been paid from across the world to former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan, who died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday aged 80.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres

“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.”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

“In this moment of sorrow, I condole with his family, relatives and friends. My thoughts and prayers go out to them as they come to terms with this sad news.”

Kenyan Ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga,

“A great African, a great leader of the world. We here in Kenya remember him for the role that he played in presiding over the process of reconciliation following the crisis that followed the 2007 general elections. Kofi Annan was able to bring the different factions in our country together.”

Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi

“His death is a loss not only to Africa but to the rest of the world. He was a public servant who was committed to peace and harmony for all mankind. His commitment to resolution of conflict through dialogue will be his biggest legacy.”

Musalia Mudavadi

“It is to Kofi that Kenya owes its current democratic environment born out of his mediation that halted the 2007/2008 political violence. I led the ODM team in the Kofi mediation with PNU. What struck me and was attractive, was that the sensation of a peacemaker stuck on him like his skin.”

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo

“Consummate international diplomat and highly respected former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy this exalted position. He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena.”

“He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.”

Former Ghanaian President John Mahama

“He lived and worked for global peace, security and sustainable development in very challenging times. A proud son of Ghana and Africa.”

The Elders (group of global leaders)

“He played a vital role in leading The Elders’ work, and was a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private.

“He was a constant advocate for human rights, development and the rule of law.

“Kofi Annan had a life-long commitment to the cause of peace and was known for his staunch opposition to military aggression, notably the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May

“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.”

French President Emmanuel Macron

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

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

Annan was “a great leader and diplomat extraordinaire” who had advanced the African agenda within the United Nations and had “flown the flag for peace” around the world.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

“Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan departed this world after an impressive political career, a diplomat who distinguished himself with his performance in a demanding job under difficult circumstances.”

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