Kofi Annan's body lies in state as three days of national mourning begins

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - The body of the former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is lying in state at the Accra International Conference Centre as the general public files past to pay their last respects.

Ghana has declared three days of national mourning for its top diplomat and international civil servant who passed away on 18 August in Switzerland, aged 80.

His mortal remains were flown back home on Monday evening and received by a high-powered delegation led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Also on hand were the vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, top government officials, diplomats, senior security officers, the clergy and traditional elders.

The body was accompanied by Mr Annan's wife Nane, his children and grandchildren.

Dignitaries from Ghana and abroad will file past the body on Wednesday before a state funeral on Thursday. He will be buried at the military cemetery in Accra on Thursday afternoon.

Kofi Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938.

He joined the UN 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 served as UN Secretary-General for two consecutive five-year terms, beginning in January 1997.

The Kofi Annan Foundation has described him as a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike.

It said Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa.  He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

"Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.  He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system.  He will remain in our hearts forever."

Kofi Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
-0- PANA MA 11Sept2018

11 september 2018 11:10:01

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