KOFI ANAN: FAREWELL TO AFRICA’S STATESMAN AND PROMOTER OF GLOBAL PEACE — Nigerian Pilot News
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KOFI ANAN: FAREWELL TO AFRICA’S STATESMAN AND PROMOTER OF GLOBAL PEACE

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KOFI ANAN: FAREWELL TO AFRICA’S STATESMAN AND PROMOTER OF GLOBAL PEACE

Africa has been thrown into a deep grief. One of her greatest worthy sons, a very precious export and distinguished statesman, Mr. Kofi Anan, has finished his earthly assignment and has ridden gloriously into eternity.

Indeed, the news of the demise of a most cerebral and accomplished diplomat, consummate administrator, quintessential leader, promoter of global peace and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan, sent shock waves across Africa, diplomatic community and among lovers of peace.

Born on the 8 of April, 1938 in Kumasi, the Ghanaian-born diplomat served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. For his contribution to global peace, Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organisation founded by Nelson Mandela.

Annan studied Economics at Macalester College, International Relations at the famous Graduate Institute, Geneva, as well as Management at the prestigious MIT. He joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office. He also worked in several capacities at the UN Headquarters, including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996. He was appointed as the Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.

The respected and hardworking diplomat was re-elected for a second term in 2001. As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy, worked assiduously to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact.

In 2012, Annan was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there. He quits active service after becoming frustrated with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution. Annan was completely altruistic in his humanitarian services to humanity and relentless promotion of global peace. To this, the global community is indebted to him.

This was amply captured by Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his reaction to the death of Annan. Obasanjo described Annan as an “African and global statesman, who dedicated his life to democracy, peace, stability, security, equity, justice, human rights, development and progress”.

It is, however, important to stress the fact that, the late Annan only contributed his part to the world peace; there is still so much work to be done. His death has left a huge vacuum in global pursuit of peace that must be filled.

Our world is still in bleak darkness as far as peace and sfety is concerned. Conflicts, disasters, oppressive governments and bad governance, sicknesses and diseases, poverty, infant and maternal mortality, inequality orchestrated by racism and social segregations are still on the rise across the world requiring decisive institutional interventions, more important voices and roles from men and women of courage and strength of character like the late Annan.

We condole the government and good people of Ghana, especially Annan’s immediate family. We equally join the African community and all lovers of peace and humanity around the world to mourn this great man, one of the noblest souls of the 21 Century whose place in global history will never be lost.

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