Saturday, February 16, 2019 12:13:31 PM
CNN: Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the Nobel Peace Prize.
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 also been a member, since 2007, of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela. 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, the statement said.The foundation 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."Tributes pour in
As news of Annan's death has spread, many are paying tribute to a man who became a global figure as head of the United Nations but was also known by those close to him for his warmth and charm.
Current UN Secretary-General António Guterres told CNN that Annan had been "an enormous source of inspiration" to him, adding that the late leader had been committed to his principles and values even if he had to pay a heavy price for them.
"He was not only a statesman, he was not only a leader, he was a warm person who would support his friends in difficult moments. He was a true colleague and a true friend," he said.
The UN Migration Agency tweeted: "Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary."
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was "grief-stricken" over Annan's death, adding that he was a "friend to thousands and a leader of millions."
"Kofi was humanity's best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace," he said. "In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world's loss becomes even more painful."A statement from The Elders said its members were "shocked and deeply saddened" by the death of their friend and colleague.
"We are devastated at the loss of our dear friend and fellow Elder. Kofi was a strong and inspiring presence to us all, and The Elders would not be where it is today without his leadership," said deputy chairman Gro Harlem Brundtland, adding that the group was resolved to continue to uphold Annan's values and legacy.
NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that the world had lost one of its giants. "His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness," he said. "Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time."
Carl Bildt, co-chairman of the European council on Foreign Relations and former Swedish Prime Minister, described Annan as "a man of courage, wisdom and friendship" and urged people to read his 2001 Nobel Peace Prize lecture.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo extended condolences on behalf of the entire nation and said the Ghanaian flag would fly at half staff across the country and in all of Ghana's diplomatic missions for a week, starting Monday.
As the first person from sub-Saharan Africa to become UN Secretary-General, Annan "brought considerable renown to our country" he said. "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."
Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said he was deeply saddened by the news, having met with Annan only a few days ago. "A rare breed of diplomat; soft spoken but unshakably firm. He had great love for world peace & democracy," he wrote on Twitter. "Go well son of Africa, Champion of the world!"
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta offered his condolences, while former Prime Minister and opposition leader Raila Odinga paid tribute to Annan's "tireless work in stabilizing the world and encouraging Africa to aspire to higher ideals of democracy, respect for human rights and sound governance."
Annan was remembered in Kenya as the man who "saved the country from collapse following the 2007-2008 post-election violence," Odinga said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described Annan as a "legendary" UN chief. "He always sought to put an end to armed conflict, to make fighting stop and negotiations begin. A peacekeeper of his stature will be sorely missed," he said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he was extremely saddened by the loss of an "unwavering champion for peace, justice and rule of law" and a "dear old friend."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the world had lost "not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security."
The director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, praised Annan as a "great leader."
There was no immediate response from the Trump administration to the news of Annan's death.
What shaped his global thinking?
Annan was descended from tribal chiefs on both sides of his family. After studying in Ghana and at Macalester College in St. Paul, in the US state of Minnesota, he joined the United Nations in 1962 as a low-ranking officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva.
He thought he would stay only a few years but ended up spending almost his entire working life with the organization.
Then-UN peacekeeping chief Kofi Annan gives a press conference in October 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Annan avoided potentially career-ending moments while serving in the department of peacekeeping.
In 1994, the UN Security Council and others including Annan were accused by the UN field commander in Rwanda of ignoring his warnings. An estimated 800,000 people died as the world was reluctant to send troops in.
Speaking in 2004, Annan said: "I believed at the that time that I was doing my best, but I realized after the genocide that there was more that I could have and should have done."
The next year, thousands of Muslims were massacred in Srebrenica as Bosnian Serbs overran a UN "safe zone."
Annan would later say Rwanda and Srebrenica would shape his global thinking. The Secretary-General at the time, Boutros Boutros Ghali, took the heat for UN failings.
Champion of human rights
On taking the helm as Secretary-General in 1997, Annan became a high-profile figure who championed human rights and urged the United Nations to protect civilians if their own governments turned on them.
His first term was highly-rated but his second term, which coincided with the US invasion of Iraq, was not as smooth.
Annan would later call the assault illegal. "I think the worst moment of course was the Iraq war, which as an organization we couldn't stop -- and I really did everything I can to try to see if we can stop it," he said, speaking in 2006.
In this 2003 file photo, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan greets US President George W Bush before the start of the 58th UN General Assembly.
In February 2012, the United Nations appointed Annan the UN and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria. Only six months later, he quit, citing increasing militarization in Syria and "the clear lack of unity" at the UN Security Council.
In a statement released by the United Nations, Guterres described Annan as both a personal mentor and an inspiration to all.
"He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us."
CNN's Nicole Chavez, Joe Sterling, Stephanie Busari and Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.
FOR the constant rise in sea levels and rapid climate change, the famous Royal Bengal Tigers of the Sunderbans could be disappeared within 50 years, especially from the Bangladesh part, according to a new study published recently in the journal Science of The Total Environment. A team of Bangladeshi and ...
Agency :Dale Steyn, the South African mainstay, continued to impress on his comeback trail, as he bowled at high pace and picked up four wickets over a long spell on Day 2 of the first Test of the two-match series versus Sri Lanka in Durban.The veteran fast bowler bowled at ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular host of present time Shanta Jahan has to be engaged with hosting round the year in and outside the country in different stage shows and TV programmes. Besides hosting, she has more identities. She is also a model and TV actress. But she always feels comfortable ...
AFP, Washington :President Donald Trump is a little heavier than last year and needs a higher dose of cholesterol medicine, but remains in "very good health," his official doctor said Thursday.The presidential physician, Sean Conley, said Trump, 72, passed his medical exam last week with flying colors."It is my determination ...
Martin Guptill is happy to work his way through the travails of a slow Napier pitch and score an ODI hundred, which helped New Zealand beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the opening game of the three-match series. The hosts had notably lost the ODI against India here couple of ...
PTI, Islamabad :The Taliban said Wednesday that its negotiators would meet US envoys for talks this month in Islamabad, and also sit down with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss Afghanistan.While Islamabad did not immediately confirm the talks, Washington said it had "noted" the announcement, which comes after weeks ...
AP, Washington :Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort intentionally lied to investigators and a federal grand jury in the special counsel's Russia probe, a judge ruled Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's decision was another loss for Manafort, a once-wealthy political consultant who rose to lead Donald Trump's 2016 campaign ...
YET again Myanmar has shown Saint Martin's Island of Bangladesh as of its part in the official map. Protesting it, Dhaka on Thursday summoned Myanmar Chargé d'affaires and handed over a strongly worded protest note also expressing serious dissatisfaction over repeating such false claim, and demanded immediate corrective measures. Director ...
Staff Reporter :A total of 40 personnel of Bangladesh Coastguard have been awarded for the prestigious 'Bangladesh Coastguard Award', 'President Coastguard Award', 'Bangladesh Coastguard (service) Award' and 'President Coastguard (service) Award' this year for best performance in their duties. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal handed over the awards to them ...
Did you know Adah Sharma is a trained sharp shooter? The Commando 2 actress shared a Valentine’s Day video breaking hearts, shooting them and didn’t miss even one target. Check out how with ease she picks up 5kg rifles and hits all 5 targets in less than a minute, with ...
AROUND 11,000 apparel workers of 99 factories in Dhaka, Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj have so far been fired and 3,500 others have been implicated in 34 cases for their participation in the movement held in January demanding proportionately wage hike, according to the IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC), a platform ...
Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala's body is to be returned to Argentina on Friday, the mayor of his hometown of Progreso, Julio Muller, told AFP Tuesday.Sala's body was recovered from plane wreckage in the English Channel last week. He was flying to his new team, English Premier League side Cardiff City, ...
Sports Reporter :Bangladesh lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the first One Day International (ODI) match at Napier in New Zealand on Wednesday.Electing to bat first, Bangladesh scored 232 off 48.5 overs.In reply, New Zealand reached the winning target making 233 for the loss of two wickets when ...
President Donald Trump indicated Tuesday that he will walk back his threat to shut the government even if he does not get all the money he has demanded for building a wall along the US-Mexican border.Although Trump left enough wiggle room to keep the country guessing, he appeared to be ...