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Former President of USA, Barack Obama and the late Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan Embodied UN’s Mission – Obama

Former President of the United States of American (USA), Barack Obama, has joined hundreds of world leaders to eulogise the late former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Mr Obama described Mr Annan as an inspiration to the next generation of leaders.

In a Facebook post to honour the memory of the Ghanaian diplomat who died at age 80 on Saturday 18 August 2018, in Berne, Switzerland, Mr Obama said: “Kofi never stopped his pursuit of a better world”.

Mr Obama’s post read: “Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations. Long after he had broken barriers, Kofi never stopped his pursuit of a better world, and made time to motivate and inspire the next generation of leaders. Michelle and I offer our condolences to his family and many loved ones.”

Mr Annan 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.

Born in Kumasi, Annan went on to study economics at Macalester College, international relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and management at MIT.

Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office. He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.

He was appointed as the Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself. He was re-elected for a second term in 2001, and was succeeded as Secretary-General by Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2007.

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

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