United Nations, Aug 18: Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has passed away on Saturday, a UN agency confirmed. Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat, served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo declared a week of mourning to pay homage to former UN chief and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan. Describing Annan as a "consummate" diplomat, Akufo-Addo said in a statement that Ghana was "deeply saddened" by news of his death in Switzerland today after a short illness, reports AFP.
It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness... pic.twitter.com/42nGOxmcPZ— Kofi Annan (@KofiAnnan) August 18, 2018
As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy; worked to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact. He has been criticized for not expanding the Security Council and faced calls for resignation after an investigation into the Oil-for-Food Programme.
After leaving the UN, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development. In 2012, Annan was the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there.
Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN's lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution. In September 2016, Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis. Kofi Annan died on the morning of 18 August 2018 at a hospital in Switzerland after a short illness.