‘He practised what he preached’ – Kofi Annan’s niece

Tuesday 11th September, 2018
KOFI ANNA NIECE NEW

By Belinda Ayamgha, GNA

Accra, Sept. 11, GNA - A niece of Mr Kofi Atta Annan, the fallen Global Peace Icon, says he was a relentless peace broker, unifier and motivator very much at home as he was abroad.

“Indeed, Ghana will be the winner if we will all emulate every good thing that he did or represented; his humility, his peace-loving nature and his desire to see all live in oneness,” said Madam Maud, the daughter of Kofi Annan’s elder sister.

“My uncle always sought to bring the family together and would always advice the young ones among us to pursue higher education.

“He always wanted to bring us together, always. He always encouraged the young ones in the family not to give up, especially in their education, she told the Ghana News Agency, at their Madina Estates residence.

“Every time he met us, it was all about advice, he didn’t like squabbles at all; we definitely have to live out his values as lasting memorial to him”.

The entrance to the residence was draped with the traditional black and red colours depicting mourning, with a poster of Mr Annan’s obituary hanging on the wall.

There was a very quiet and sombre atmosphere as family members, including his nonagenarian sister, dealt with their huge loss.

Kofi Annan, who rose through the ranks to become the seventh United Nations Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006, co-won the Nobel Peace Prize with world body.

He passed away on August 18, 2018 in the Swiss City of Berne-Switzerland.

A three-day State Funeral, which began today, is underway at the Accra International Conference Centre.

State dignitaries and representatives of recognised bodies will pay their tributes on Wednesday, September 12.

The burial service will be held on Thursday, 13 September, from 0900 hours to 1100 hours, followed by a private burial at the military cemetery in Accra.

Born in Kumasi, he joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Office in Geneva.

He then went to serve in various capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as Under Secretary-General for peacekeeping from March 1992 to December 1996.

He was appointed the UN Chief in December 1996 by the Security Council and later confirmed by the General Assembly, becoming the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.

The Annan was re-elected for a second term in 2001 and was succeeded by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon on January 01, 2007.

As Secretary-General, he worked to reform the UN bureaucracy, combat the deadly HIV spread, especially in Africa and launched the UN Global Compact.

After serving out his term, he formed the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development.

He was also the Chairman of “The Elders”, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

In 2012, Mr Annan was made the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to aid efforts at resolving the bloody conflict there but quit over his frustration with the lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution.

He was appointed to lead a UN Commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis in September 2016.

Mr Annan studied Economics at Macalester College – International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He is survived by his wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Amma, Kojo and Nina.

GNA