The Reverend Emmanuel Asante, Chairperson of the National Peace Council, has observed that the demise of Ghana’s illustrious son and seventh United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, would make heaven richer and the world poorer.
He noted that “the global peace icon and statesman” was committed to the peace of the world, saying, “You can see from his activities, and not just the world’s peace, but also concerned about the peace of the country he loved so much-Ghana”.
“As the Chairman of the Peace Council, I consulted him on a number of occasions in respect of what was happening in Ghana, and from behind the scenes, he was helping in respect of the peace of our country,” Rev. Asante stated.
Rev. Asante made the remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the final funeral rites of Kofi Annan held at the Accra International Conference Centre on Thursday.
The Council’s Chairperson noted that, the quintessential statesman was deeply committed to the poor and made various strides to eradicate poverty around the world, which culminated in the initiation of the Millennium Development Goals.
“Apart from that, Mr Annan was also concerned about justice and even though he had difficulties with the “powers-that-be” -the United States of America, but yet, he stood his ground to criticize the attack on Iraq by the US-that’s the man we have lost.
“He was a very humble man despite his position and very down to earth, and was prepared to engage people regarding the peace and development of Ghana,” he pointed out.
Rev. Asante lauded the resilience of the Noble Laureate, noting that, even on his retirement, he continued working towards world peace.
Meanwhile, Mr Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, told the GNA that, Mr Annan was a global statesman and brought people together, saying;”He was one of the greatest gifts to the world”.
Asked whether the UN had completed uniting the world, he said although the UN had learnt from its previous mistakes, he believed the global body was still working towards uniting the world.
“Although the world is fractured, I believe the UN is the best institution we have to work harder to support it at all times to bring peace and unity to the world,” Mr Barnes emphasised.
Mr Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 18, 2018 in the Swiss city of Bern after a brief illness.
He was born on April 8, 1938 in Kumasi. He was aged 80.
He was the UN Secretary-General from January 1997 to 2006, leading a number of reforms at the global body.
He successfully negotiated peace deals in many countries plagued with conflicts and wars.
In 2001, he was co-recipient of the Noble Peace Price with the UN.
Upon his retirement from UN, he was appointed as a Special Envoy to Syria and led UN Commission to negotiate for peace during the Rohingya crisis in September 2016.
He was survived by a wife, Nane Maria Lagergren, and three children, Kojo, Ama and Nina.