Kofi Annan bridged gap between UN and the people – Guterres

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The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has described Kofi Annan as a wise leader who embodied the ideals of the UN.

“Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him,” Mr. Guterres said in his tribute at Kofi Annan’s burial service.

Kofi Annan died on 18 August in Switzerland at the age of 80.

He was the first black UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006.

The renowned diplomat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for breathing new life into the UN amid the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Mr. Guterres recalled Kofi Annan’s words as being “tough and wise.”

Those who took time to learn from the diplomat, “were rewarded with his wisdom,” the UN boss said.

He also remembered Kofi Annan as a man who pioneered landmark global initiatives and “opened the doors of the United Nations bringing the organization closer to the world’s people and engaging new partners in protecting the environment and defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases.”

There were also tributes by his family, including by his wife, Nane Maria Annan.

The state hierarchy was in attendance, led by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The former queen of the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix, and her daughter-in-law Princess Mabel, who were close friends of Annan, were among the mourners.

Following the service, Kofi Annan has been laid to rest at the Military Cemetery in Accra.

 

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