By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Sept 13, GNA - Ghanaians and the International Community on Thursday converged at the Accra International Conference Centre to bid ceremonial farewell to the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General.
The funeral service of the global peace icon is being led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Other dignitaries attending the funeral include; several African Heads of State, other world leaders and heads of the various UN Agencies.
Mr Annan passed away on August 18, in the Swiss city of Bern after a brief illness.
He and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
Born in Kumasi, he joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organisation’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.
Mr 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.
He also initiated the Millennium Development Goals towards improving the lots of the poor around the world.
After serving out his term, he formed the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development, peace and humanitarianism and was also the Chairman of “The Elders”, an international organisation founded by Nelson Mandela.
In 2012, Mr Annan became 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, Ama, Kojo and Nina.