Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, died early Saturday at a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, following a short illness at the age of 80.
The death of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was born in Ghana in 1938, was confirmed by the Kofi Annan Foundation on Twitter:
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
“His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days,” the foundation named after him wrote.
Annan became U.N. Secretary-General in 1997, after rising through the organization’s ranks. He was in the role until 2006 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for “revitalizing” the body and giving “priority to human rights.” Annan later served as U.N. special envoy for Syria.
The foundation has hailed Annan as “a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.” It called him “an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”
“He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as the staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system,” it added. “He will remain in our hearts forever.”
“Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing.” – @antonioguterres
— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) August 18, 2018
Current U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres described Annan as a “guiding force for good,” “a good friend and mentor” and “someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom.”
“He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world,” Guterres said via a statement shared online. “In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.”
The U.N.’s Migration Agency paid tribute to “visionary” Annan with this post:
A life well lived. A life worth celebrating. pic.twitter.com/3sLmy7VS2p
— IOM – UN Migration (@UNmigration) August 18, 2018
Other tributes have also flooded in for the diplomat:
We’re extremely saddened by the demise of Kofi Annan, an exemplary humanitarian, a nobel laureate & a champion of peace around the world. The world will miss his presence, our thoughts & prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/SCacINQHfz
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 18, 2018
Former U.N. Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has passed at age 80. The world needs visionaries of peace more than ever, and his life is an example of the possible. Thank you for your service to us all, sir. Rest now, in peace.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 18, 2018
Culled from HuffPost