World figures have been paying tribute to former UN secretary-general and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan, who died at the age of 80.
Current UN chief Antonio Guterres hailed him as “a guiding force for good”. Mr Guterres led the tributes to his predecessor. “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.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana said he is saddened by the news of the death of Ghana’s highly revered statesman, Kofi Annan, adding that “undoubtedly, he excelled in the various undertakings of his life, leaving in his trail most pleasant memories. His was a life well-lived,” he added in his Facebook post.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings wrote: “Global diplomacy has lost a true gem. Kofi Annan was a fine diplomat who committed most of his professional life to world peace. He was one of the best, a born diplomat. He made Ghana and Africa proud and left a great legacy at the United Nations. Rest in Peace, Kofi Annan”.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor said: Kofi Annan, whether in peacekeeping, healthcare, agriculture; showed love and excelled in all. “…you will never hear him raise his voice or threaten anyone. Even in his quietness, he was very strong…he believed in the fact that we should be our brothers’ keeper. May he rest in peace,“ he added.
Former president John Dramani Mahama posted on his Facebook page: “He lived and worked for global peace, security and sustainable development in very challenging times. A proud son of Ghana and Africa”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described a “remarkable person”. He added, the memory of Annan would “forever live in the hearts of Russians”.
UK PM Theresa May tweeted: Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.
Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: Saddened to hear that Kofi Annan has passed away. His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness. Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time. The UN and the world have lost one of their giants.
Ex-US President Barack Obama said Annan had always pursued “a better world”. The first African American to win the White House, said: “Long after he had broken barriers, Kofi never stopped his pursuit of a better world.”
Former US President George W Bush, paying homage to Annan, called him “a tireless leader of the United Nations” whose “voice of experience will be missed around the world”.
Indian PM Narendra Modi said “the world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security”.
Raila Odinga, Kenya opposition leader called Annan “the man who stepped in and saved the country (Kenya) from collapse”, referring to when Annan successfully helped negotiate a power-sharing deal to end post-election violence in Kenya.