By Godwill Arthur- Mensah, GNA
Accra, Sept.12, GNA - Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on Wednesday paid glowing tribute to the former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Atta Annan, saying, the world distinguished diplomat affected the world positively and his legacy would be continued.
She downplayed concerns raised by a section of the public that the casket containing the mortal remains of Kofi Annan was not opened for viewing, saying "we're respecting his wishes and seeing the body will not add anything to us".
She said Ghanaians should rather reflect on the values he stood for and the impact he made on humanity.
She said Kofi Annan fought tirelessly for global peace, human rights and reduction of poverty, adding that, even when he retired from the UN, and was advanced in age he continued serving humanity without any excuse.
She urged both the old and the younger generations to emulate the lifestyle and diplomatic traits of Mr Annan, who served humanity with integrity and humility, saying "his calm nature has impacted on my life greatly, especially those of us in diplomatic circles"
She noted that the late Annan was a colossus global peace icon, who led the global body with distinction and encouraged the youth to let the feat chalked by Kofi Annan to inspire them to greater heights.
Madam Ayorkor Botchway made the remarks in an interview with the media at the Accra International Conference Centre on Wednesday, where the mortal remains of Ghana's illustrious son is lying-in-state for viewing by high profile dignitaries, including Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Ministers of State, Diplomats, Members of Parliament, traditional rulers and organized groups.
Kofi Annan was described as a "global peace icon and statesman" who brokered peace in turbulent countries during his stewardship of the global body.
The legacy of Annan should be kept alive for both the present and future generation, "Madam Botchway said.
Mr Afriyie Osei Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, said the passing of Kofi Annan “was a personal loss because my father was very close to Kofi Annan's father”.
"Ghana has lost one of her greatest sons and it will be difficult to replace him, "he added.
Mr Annan passed away peaceful on August 18, 2018 at a hospital in the Swiss city of Bern after short illness.
He was aged 80.
He was the UN Secretary-General from January 1997 to December 2006, leading a number of reforms at the global body.
He successfully negotiated peace deals in many countries plagued with conflicts and wars, including Kosovo, Lebanon, Durfur, Afghanistan and many others.
In 2001, he was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with the UN.
Mr Annan, upon retirement from active service, served as UN special envoy to Syria, and also established the Kofi Annan Foundation to pursue his vision of making the world a more peaceful place to live.
He was survived by a wife, Nane Maria Lagergren and three children, Kojo, Ama and Nina.