Accra, Sept. 13, GNA – Mr Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, the acting General Manager of the Ghana News Agency, Thursday said every Ghanaian in any capacity must contribute towards the realisation of Kofi Annan’s vision towards creating a freer, fairer and better world.
He said every individual had the ability to impact something positive on his fellow being, community or the environment, which could minimise the suffering of the poor and the vulnerable across the globe.
“What is the value of man if he is of no use of any kind to his fellow being?” he asked, saying Kofi Annan understood the essence of life and thus played his many roles as a husband, father, sibling, civil servant and more, committed to giving to humanity rather than taking from it.
“The usual stories reported about Africa are negative but today, I am proud that the story the world has to tell about an African is a very positive one,” he said in a tribute.
He quoted British Prime Minister Teresa May’s tribute, on hearing about Kofi Annan’s demise: “Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left, a better place that the one he was born into....”, and emphasised that, it should be every individual’s duty to leave the world a better place that he inherited.
Since the passing of the Seventh United Nations Secretary-General, there has been an outpouring of tributes from across the globe complimenting him on his positive values, his relentless optimism for world peace, his advocacy for the poor and the afflicted and his commitment to do his part for a positive change.
Though his plate was very full at the global level, family and community members say, he was very active in their lives, actualising at home what he was preaching abroad.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his tribute, said Mr Annan brought considerable renown to Ghana by his position and by his conduct and comportment in the global arena.
“Charming, cosmopolitan, consensus-builder, elegant, eloquent, gentle-mannered, modest, polyglot, proud African, peacemaker, quintessential diplomat-these words are still inadequate to capture the fullness of the personality of Kofi Annan, one of the truly iconic figures of modern times.
“Indeed the outpouring of tributes from the world over is an accurate measure of the man, a man who gave his life to making peace where there was conflict, to defending the voiceless the voiceless who were powerless, to promoting virtue where there was evil.”
Mr Michel Sidebe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, summed it up in an article describing Kofi Annan, as a “shining light of Africa who has left behind millions and millions of blazing bright spots in every corner of the world.
“An African at heart, a global citizen in truth, Kofi Annan symbolised the best of humanity. As United Nations Secretary-General, his contributions to society spanned across continents and covered multiple issues. He was a rabble rouser, trouble-shooter, change-maker-all combined in one”.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, stated in his tribute: “He opened the doors of the United Nations, bringing the Organisation closer to the world’s people and engaging new partners in protecting the environment, defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases.
“Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him”.
Ghana’s illustrious son, who rose through the ranks to head the world body from January 1997 to December 2006, is credited with initiating the Millennium Development Goals and UN Global Compact to minimise poverty and suffering around the world.
The Nobel Peace laureate died in Bern, Switzerland, on August 18, after a short illness, aged 80. He has been buried at the New Military Cemetery at Burma Camp, in Accra.
He was survived by his wife, Nane, and three children.