The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, today lamented the death of his predecessor Kofi Annan, whom he said was “a force for good” and extended his condolences to his family.
“In many ways, it was the United Nations, and it rose in its ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with unparalleled dignity and determination,” he said in a press release.
Guterres referred to the Nobel Peace Prize of 2001, who died today in Switzerland at the age of 80, as “a good friend and mentor” and said he was honored by the confidence of having been elected as High Commissioner of the United Nations for the Refugees under his leadership (2005-2015).
The relatives of Annan, who led the UN from 1997 to 2006, reported today his death through Twitter and said that it occurred after receiving treatment for a short illness in a hospital in Switzerland, but have not given more details.
During his last days he was with his wife, Nane, and their children, Kojo, Ama and Nina. His family asked for “privacy in this moment of mourning.”
The Secretary General of the UN recalled that Annan was someone to whom he could always go for advice and wisdom who knew “that he was not alone” because “he always gave people around the world a space for dialogue, a space to solve problems and a path to a better world. “
“His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all,” added Guterres in the statement.
“My sincere condolences to Nane Annan, his beloved family and all who mourn the death of this proud son of Africa who became a champion for peace and humanity,” added Guterres.
Annan remained active until his last days, leading the delegation of the NGO The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela, who visited Zimbabwe during the electoral process at the end of July.