President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed deep sorrow at the death of Ghana’s celebrated diplomat – former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and directed that the national flag should fly at half-mast for one week.
Beginning from Monday, August 20, the national flag would fly at half-mast across the country and in all Ghana’s foreign missions, in honour of the late Annan, who died on Saturday in the Swiss capital, Berne, at the age of 80.
President Akufo-Addo in a statement said “the Government and people of Ghana, First Lady, Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr. Kofi Annan”.
“I extend, on behalf of the entire Ghanaian nation, our sincere, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss.
I am, however, comforted by the information, after speaking to Nane Maria, that he died peacefully in his sleep.”
“Rest in perfect peace, Kofi. You have earned it. God bless.”
The statement said the late Kofi Annan was a consummate international diplomat, who brought tremendous honour to the nation – serving as the first UN Chief from sub-Saharan Africa and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena.
“He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.
Undoubtedly, he excelled in the various undertakings of his life, leaving in his trail most pleasant memories”, it added.
Kofi Atta Annan, was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 08 April 1938, and best known for his diplomatic career, having served as the seventh United Nations Secretary General, from January 1997 to December 2006, the first Secretary General to be elected from the ranks of the UN, where he had worked in various capacities since 1962.
During his two-term service as Secretary-General, one of Mr. Annan’s main priorities and accomplishment was reform of the UN aimed at revitalizing it and making the international system more effective.
He was an unrelenting 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.
Through Mr. Annan’s 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 his urging that, in 2005, member states established two new intergovernmental bodies: the Peace-building Commission and the Human Rights Council.
He also 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 humanity. His “Global Compact” initiative, launched in 1999, has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility.
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