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JUST IN: Kofi Annan is dead

19 August 2018

Born in Ghana, Annan was a career diplomat at the United Nations, and the first secretary-general to be hired from within the organization's ranks.

I extend, on behalf of the entire Ghanaian nation, our honest, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss. He was 80 years old. He was a distinguished and accomplished worldwide public servant and one of Africa's most prominent diplomats.

He joined the United Nations system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva, rising through the ranks to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance, and peacekeeping.

He passed on in a hospital after a short illness, with the wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Anna, Kojo and Nina by his side. He served in that position from 1997 to 2006.

"It was an unexpected but inspired choice", Annan's statement read.

"He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago", says former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"He was also one of the public figures who contributed the most to the independence of East Timor", he added.

French president Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to the former United Nations head and said, "We will never forget his calm and resolute approach to matters, nor the strength of his commitments".

The director-general of the UN European headquarters in Geneva, Michael Møller, said he was shocked by how rapidly Annan's condition deteriorated.

"Annan was an African avatar and God's messenger of peace to the world".

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The statement added Mr Annan, who succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali as United Nations leader, was a "son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa".

The Governor noted that Annan touched lives with his Kofi Annan Foundation that was committed to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights around the world.

Tributes poured in from global leaders for Kofi Annan, the first black African U.N. secretary-general, who died early Saturday.

For The Elders, Annan had most recently encouraged young people to continue Mandela's long walk to freedom in the name of peace. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.

JUST IN: Kofi Annan is dead