How CNN reported Kofi Annan’s death
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, dead at age 80
Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has died at age 80, his foundation confirmed Saturday.
Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.
He had been a member of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela, since it was founded in 2007. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.
The Kofi Annan Foundation confirmed his death with “immense sadness” in a statement posted on Twitter.
Annan passed away peacefully Saturday morning after a short illness, with his wife Nane and their three children by his side during his final days, it said.
It paid tribute to Annan as a “global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer, more peaceful world.”
“During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”
Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations in 2001 “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.”
Aljazeera: Former UN chief Kofi Annan dies
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has died at a hospital in the Swiss capital, Bern, after a brief illness.
The 80-year-old served as the seventh UN chief for almost 10 years from 1997 to 2006 and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2001, which he shared with the UN.
A statement shared by his Twitter account on Saturday described Annan as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist”.
“During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law,” the statement read.
“Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa,” it continued.
Current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Annan was “a guiding force for good”.
“It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing.
“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.”
But Annan’s association with the UN was not without controversy.
Just before becoming secretary general, Annan served as UN peacekeeping chief and as special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, where he oversaw a transition in Bosnia from UN protective forces to NATO-led troops.
The UN peacekeeping operation faced two of its greatest failures during his tenure: the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and the massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.
Retired Canadian general, Romeo Dallaire, who led UN forces in Rwanda, is alleged to have sent a message to Annan’s office, warning of impending massacre, but Annan reportedly told UN military forces not to take any action.
In both cases, Annan offered apologies, but ignored calls to resign.
How BBC reported Kofi Annan’s death
Kofi Annan, former UN chief, dies at 80
Kofi Annan, the first black African to become UN secretary-general, has died aged 80 in Switzerland, his aides say.
He “passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness”, the foundation named after him said on Saturday.
Mr Annan served two terms as UN chief from 1997 to 2006, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work for his efforts.
He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
In a statement announcing his death, the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.
“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”
The diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, had been living in Geneva for several years before his death.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 2001 for helping to revitalise the international body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Kofi Annan described his greatest achievement as the Millennium Development Goals which – for the first time – set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.
However, Mr Annan was not immune to criticism. His critics blamed him for the UN’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s when he was head of the organisation’s peacekeeping operations.
Later, after the US-led invasion of Iraq, he and his son were accused of being involved in the “oil for food scandal” that led some to call for his resignation, though he was later exonerated.
In an interview with the BBC’s HardTalk to mark his 80th birthday in April, Mr Annan acknowledged the UN’s shortcomings, saying it “can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn’t exist you would have to create it”.
“I am a stubborn optimist, I was born an optimist and will remain an optimist,” he added.
Current UN chief Antonio Guterres has been leading the tributes to his predecessor, describing Mr Annan as “a guiding force for good”.
“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” he said in a statement.