Kofi Annan dead at the age of 80
Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner, passed away at 80 years old after a short battle with an undisclosed illness.
Born in 1939, Annan served as the seventh UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006 and became a member of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists formed by Nelson Mandela, in 2007.
The news of Annan's death was announced by The Kofi Annan Foundation through their Twitter account, in a post that revealed the 'immense sadness' felt.
Annan drew his last breath on Saturday morning surrounded by his loved ones - wife Nane and his three children, who have showed him nothing but love and support throughout the years.
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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/NDOy2NmAAs— Kofi Annan Foundation (@KofiAnnanFdn) August 18, 2018
The foundation paid tribute to the respected political figure by describing him as a 'global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer, more peaceful world.'
Antonio Guterres, the current UN Secretary-General, told CNN that Annan was a source of inspiration to him and that the late 80-year-old's loyalty to his principles and values was truly remarkable.
Annan was known for his strong will and determination to follow his visions through to the end. He stayed true to his beliefs to the very end and wasn't afraid of the consequences.
This sad day one should take time to reread Kofi Annan’s 2001 Nobel peace prize lecture. https://t.co/AthPjNNLOa— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) August 18, 2018
Upon learning of the former leader's passing, several people took to social media to pay tribute to one of the most respected men in the history of the United Nations.
Deeply saddened by the sudden passing of the iconic Kofi Annan whom I met a few days ago. A rare breed of diplomat; soft spoken but unshakeably firm. He had great love for world peace & democracy. A believer in Zimbabwe & its people. Go well son of Africa, Champion of the world!— nelson chamisa🇿🇼 (@nelsonchamisa) August 18, 2018
Carl Bildt, Nelson Chamisa and Jens Stoltenberg were only a few of the characters who chose to remember Annan as the man who taught the world not to mistake warmth and kindness for weakness.
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.— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) August 18, 2018
Ultimately, the late 80-year-old was an inspiration to many around the world and he will be forever remembered as one of the most important and meaningful people in human history for his contribution to human rights and the rule of law.