World leaders past and present are honoring the memory of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died Saturday at age 80.
Annan was the U.N.’s first black Secretary-General, and its seventh overall. During his 10 years in that post, Annan collected the Nobel Peace Prize and built a reputation as one of the world’s most beloved diplomats, despite presiding over the U.N. during a volatile decade marked by wars and terrorism.
His death, resulting from a short but unspecified illness, sent shockwaves through the global political community on Saturday, prompting world leaders including former President Barack Obama, current U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and more to issue tributes. Flags outside the U.N. headquarters will also fly at half-mast for three days, the organization announced.
Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family. pic.twitter.com/P0SWagShJM
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) August 18, 2018
We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr. Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan didn’t just talk about building a more just and peaceful world, he dedicated his life to doing it – and the world is a better place because of him. It’s now up to all of us to carry his work forward.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 18, 2018
“Kofi Annan inspired me and many others with his ideas, his upright beliefs, and, not in the least, his charisma,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement.
“Kofi #Annan war ein sanfter, aber hartnäckiger Kämpfer für Frieden und Menschenrechte” – Bundespräsident Steinmeier
“Mit seinen Ideen, seinen aufrechten Überzeugungen und nicht zuletzt seinem Charisma hat Kofi Annan mich und viele andere inspiriert” – Bundeskanzlerin Merkel
— Birgit Schmeitzner (@BSchmeitzner) August 18, 2018