Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General, Dies at the Age Of 80

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Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General has died at the age of 80. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work in the year 2001. He was the 7th Secretary General of the UN and served for two terms at the United Nations between 1997 and 2006.

The death of Mr. Annan was confirmed on 18th August (Saturday) by the Kofi Annan Foundation. The foundation issued a statement stating the demise of the great diplomat. He passed away in the early hours in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland. In a tweet, the Kofi Annan Foundation stated that Mr. Annan reached out to the needy people whenever they needed his help. He used to have a deep sympathy toward others. In fact, he was always known for his warmth and kindness.

Practically, Annan spent his entire life as an administrator in the UN. During his tenure as the administrator, he officiated some of the worst scandals faced by the world organizations. One was the conduct of the UN during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and also the brutality in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. Outside challenges forced him to do his best to reinstate the reputation of the UN which got tarnished because of the scandals.

The time when he departed the UN, he made sure that the organization remains involved with the task of peacemaking and fights poverty. The organization also emphasized human rights and development.

Mr. Annan was the chair of an independent group of global leaders, knows as The Elders. It also worked for human rights and development. He also worked for the U.N Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia, also for the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, the UN Emergency Force in Egypt, and in several other posts.

Before taking up the role of the Secretary-General, he was assigned the role of under-secretary-general for peacekeeping. He became the special representative to the former Yugoslavia. He inspected a conversion from the UN protective forces to NATO-led troops. He also helped to strengthen the management, accountability, efforts, and coherence of the UN. He helped to shift towards civilian rule in Nigeria and paid a visit to Iran for resolving the stalemate with Security Council over conformity with inspection of weapons.

He was the chief planner of Millennium Development Goals and developed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. He was successful in the formation of Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council. He even helped in bringing truce between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. He also resolved a settlement dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.

Mr. Annan was born into an elite family in Kumasi, Ghana. He completed his undergraduate degree in economics from Macalester College in St Paul Minnesota. In Geneva, he started his graduate studies in international studies. From there his career took a flight.

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