THE CHAIR of Warwick District UN Association has paid tribute to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.
The 80-year-old, who was the only black African to hold the post, passed away on Saturday after a short illness.
Mr Annan, who served as secretary general from 1007 to 2006, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work. A week of national mourning was declared in his home country of Ghana.
Gian Clare, long-time chair of Warwick District UN Association, said: “The death of Kofi Annan is a real loss to the world, an inspirational leader who steered the UN during a turbulent decade, and advanced the causes of peace, development and human rights. As an individual he was a person of great warmth, intelligence, patience, and above all, integrity.
“All of us at UN Association feel the loss of Kofi Annan keenly, whether we knew him well or were simply inspired by his achievements.
“As chair of the local UN Association and having served on our national UNA-UK board I was honoured and had the privilege to have met Kofi Annan on numerous occasions during his visits to our association headquarters in London.
“Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world`s loss becomes even more painful.
“He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”
“Through the turmoil of 9/11 and the wars that followed, he was the voice of reason … whether brandishing a soda bottle to make a point about drug availability, appearing on Sesame Street to promote global cooperation or quietly admonishing world leaders, he used the ‘bully pulpit’ without being a bully, and helped us believe that it really is our United Nations.”
Former UN general-secretary Kofi Annan passed away at the weekend.