Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness at the age of 80 his family and foundation announced.
The only black African to become UN secretary-general won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for humanitarian work died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday with his wife, Nane, and three children Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side.
Annan served as U.N. Secretary General from January 1997 to December 2006 as the seventh secretary general and served for two terms.
Annan Foundation tweet “It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness”.
Current UN Boss Antonio Guterres has been leading the tributes to his predecessor, describing Annan as “a guiding force for good”.
The Ghanaian was the second African to head the UN after Egypian Boutrous Boutrous Ghali, who was in charge between January 1992 to December 1996.
Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organisation’s Geneva office. He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, hailed Annan’s “wisdom and courage”, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said he was “exceptional statesman in the service of the global community”.