NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition
leader Raila Odinga joined other world leaders in mourning the
passing away of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan early
Kenyatta said he
learned with deep sorrow that Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan had
passed away in Switzerland.
“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,” Kenyatta said in a statement.
Kofi Annan served as
the seventh UN Secretary-General for two terms from 1997 to
2006. He was the first African diplomat to hold such a position.
“We pray that the
Almighty God will grant his family, relatives and friends the
strength and grace to bear the loss,” said Kenyatta.
The 80-year-old is
renowned in Kenya for having brokered a peace deal between then
President Mwai Kibaki and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at the
height of the 2007/8 post-election violence that left many
displaced and hundreds dead, threatening the very fabric of
In his message,
Odinga who described the passing of Annan as terrible news, said
his death is a major blow to the push for respect of human
rights across the globe.
“In Kenya, we retain
fond memories of Dr. Annan as the man who stepped in and saved
the country from collapse following the 2007-2008 post-election
violence. Much remains to be done of the plan he proposed for
the country as a road map to lasting peace and stability and it
is my hope that we could do it in his honor,” Odinga said.
He expressed deep
gratitude and appreciation of Annan for his dedicated and
tireless work in stabilizing the world and encouraging Africa to
aspire to higher ideals of democracy, respect for human rights
and sound governance as the path to sustainable peace and
According to Odinga,
more than any other UN secretary general, Annan best understood
and pushed the world to see the importance of human rights to
peace, security, humanitarian affairs, economic and social
“The world will
always remember and honor Dr. Annan for what became known as
‘the Annan Doctrine’ in which he made it clear that the need to
respect sovereignty cannot be used as a shield by governments to
brutalize their own citizens and that the international
community has a right to intervene, when governments fail to
protect the lives of their citizens,” he said.
“That will remain a
pillar of hope for many people across the world for generations
to come if it can be adhered to. May he rest in eternal peace,”
mourned Annan as a global statesman and a deeply committed
internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and
more peaceful world.
Annan who was a son
of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa was
particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged
in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa
Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a
Green Revolution in Africa.
Late Kofi Annan
was former Secretary-General of the United Nations
GENEVA (Xinhua) --
Former Secretary General of the United Nations
Kofi Annan passed away at the age of 80 at a Swiss hospital on
While mourning him,
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described Annan as “a
guiding force for good”, and UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called the former UN chief
“irreplaceable” and “humanity’s best example, epitome of human
decency and grace”.
Kofi A. Annan, born
in Kumasi, Ghana, on April 8 of 1938, was the seventh
Secretary-General of the United Nations, served from 1997 to
2006 and was the first to emerge from the ranks of United
He studied at the
University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana , and
completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester
College in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1961.
In 1961-1962, he
undertook graduate studies at the Institute of International
Affairs in Geneva, and in 1972 earned a Master of Science degree
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of
Annan joined the UN
system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the
World Health Organization in Geneva. He later served with the
Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the UN Emergency
Force in Ismailia, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in
Geneva, and in various senior posts in New York dealing with
human resources, budget, finance and staff security.
becoming Secretary-General, he was Under-Secretary-General for
Secretary-General, one of Annan’s main priorities was a
comprehensive program of reform aimed at revitalizing the United
Nations and making the international system more effective.
He was a constant
advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium
Development Goals and Africa, and sought to bring the
Organization closer to the global public by forging ties with
civil society, the private sector and other partners.
initiative, UN peacekeeping was strengthened in ways that
enabled the United Nations to cope with a rapid rise in the
number of operations and personnel.
It was also at
Annan’s urging that, in 2005, Member States established two new
intergovernmental bodies: the Peace-building Commission and the
Human Rights Council.
played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to
fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s
first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by
Member States of the “responsibility to protect” people from
genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against
His “Global Compact”
initiative, launched in 1999, has become the world’s largest
effort to promote corporate social responsibility.
wide-ranging diplomatic initiatives. In 1998, he helped to ease
the transition to civilian rule in Nigeria. Also that year, he
visited Iraq in an effort to resolve an impasse between that
country and the Security Council over compliance with
resolutions involving weapons inspections and other matters—an
effort that helped to avoid an outbreak of hostilities, which
was imminent at that time.
He was responsible
for certifying Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and in
2006, his efforts contributed to securing a cessation of
hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah.
Also in 2006, he
mediated a settlement of the dispute between Cameroon and
Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula through implementation of the
judgement of the International Court of Justice.
His efforts to
strengthen the Organization’s management, coherence and
accountability involved major investments in training and
technology, the introduction of a new whistleblower policy and
financial disclosure requirements, and steps aimed at improving
coordination at the country level.
In 2007, Annan
established the Kofi Annan Foundation, an independent,
not-for-profit organization that works to promote better global
governance and strengthen the capacities of people and countries
to achieve a fairer, more peaceful world.
outbreak of violence during the 2007 Presidential elections in
Kenya, the African Union established a Panel of Eminent African
Personalities to assist in finding a peaceful solution to the
crisis. As the head of the panel, Annan managed to convince the
two principal parties to the conflict to participate in the
Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process.
He also once served
as the UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria and developed
a six-point plan for peace.
Annan was awarded
the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace, jointly with the UN. He has also
received numerous honorary degrees and many other national and
international prizes, medals and honors.
He is fluent in
English, French and several African languages. He and his wife
have three children.