Ghana today, Wednesday, October 24, 2018, celebrates Kofi Annan as the nation joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 73rd Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations with a focus on the life and achievements of the late former UN Secretary-General and global peace icon.
Aside the global theme of “Making the United Nations relevant to all people; global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”, Ghana’s commemoration is guided by a local theme “Legacy of Kofi Annan: An illustrious son of Ghana and Global statesman” to further highlight the achievements and contributions of the late global icon.
The UN was founded on 24th October 1945 in San Francisco in the United States of America to replace the League of Nations after World War II with the aim of preventing another such conflict, promote human rights and spearhead development around the world.
Upon attainment of independence in 1957, Ghana was admitted into the United Nations on March 8, 1957 and has since remained a respectable member of the global body, responding to several calls for action especially in the areas of Peacekeeping, Emergency Response, Disaster Coordination and Democratization processes.
Ghana is also widely acclaimed for providing the United Nations with some of the finest international civil servants notable among them, Mr Alex Quayson-Sackey, first black African to preside over the UN General Assembly, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse; first female Director-General of ILO, Dr.Anarfi Asamoah Baah; former Deputy Director-General of WHO, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Dr. K.Y Amoako, the late Nana Wereko Ampem, Dr. Sam Jonah, Daasebre Oti Boateng, Prof Alex Kwapong, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Prof. Fred Sai; Mr. Robert Gardner, Mr Kenneth Dadzie, Dr. Leticia Obeng, Lt.Gen. Henry Anyidoho and ultimately the late Mr Kofi Annan who became the 7th Secretary-General of the Organisation.
“It is the sincere hope of the Government of Ghana that many of the citizens would learn more about the United Nations and its works and realise the need for all to have a shared responsibility in making its goals attainable for a sustainable society”, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said.
A Flag Raising Ceremony will be held at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra to mark the day, among other events planned to commemorate the 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations.
Kofi Annan bridged gap between UN and the people – Guterres
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, 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 in Accra.
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 after Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
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.”