Obama Reacts to Death of Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan: Former UN Secretary General Dies, Aged 80

Mr Annan, who was the secretary-general from 1997 to 2006, died on Saturday in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, after a short illness; he was 80 years of age.

The statement further said, "Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world".

Annan and the United Nations shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to reform the world body and give priority to human rights issues.

Annan served two terms as UN Secretary-General in NY from 1997-2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has hailed the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize victor for his role to promote harmony in a troubled world. She offered condolences to his family and said "Kofi's life was one of service: he made a difference".

In 2010, the Guardian reported an instance in which Annan criticised the imprisonment of gay Malawian couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza as "very regressive". Kofi Annan is high among them.

Annan began his career with the United Nations as a budget officer for the World Health Organization in Geneva in 1962.

While former U.S. president Barack Obama said Annan "embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others".

Kofi Annan led the world in to the new millennium, making a big impression on the diplomatic stage, although he didn't always agree with the actions of the most powerful countries, calling the 2003 invasion of Iraq "illegal".

On his part, Mzee Moi said besides being the UN Secretary-General, he ably represented the dignity of the black African personality.

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"As the first secretary general from sub-Saharan Africa, he brought a special commitment to the continent into the UN and worked tirelessly to bring stability to its nations", he said.

Kofi Annan, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, has thanked and said goodbye to staff at the UN's headquarters in Geneva.

His tenure as United Nations secretary-general coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

"His demise is a sad loss to Africa and the world", he said in a personally signed statement.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday hailed Mr Annan as a consummate global diplomat who had brought enormous pride to his country. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Annan family during this hard period of grief", Kodwa said.

He said: "I am grief-stricken over the death of Kofi Annan".

"Kofi was humanity's best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace".

"Annan. has left us but his legacy remains to keep working for peace, security and to strengthen the defence of human rights", Sanchez tweeted. He was married with three children.

The African National Congress's Zizi Kodwa described Annan as both "an eminent and distinguished son of Africa" as well as a "great friend of the people of South Africa".

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