The late Mr Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Secretary-General, was a great blessing and an inspiration to all of us, Dr Lawrence Tetteh, a renowned International Evangelist, has said.
He said the late Mr Kofi Annan had proved that one could be gentle, polite and be very enlightened to bring the world together.
“And as a matter of fact, he was fit in every pair of shoes that was given to him. He is a great example of humility and I pray that all of us in our prominence will really emulate him,” Dr Tetteh said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the State Funeral for the late Mr Annan at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Dr Tetteh said the late Mr Annan had brought honour not only to Ghana but to all black communities around the world.
“I have known him personally and he was one of the few who encouraged me to study international relations,” he said.
“He made us realise that anybody at all in spite of the background can be part of the UN. And for me I’m so grateful that I had the chance to even serve at one stage as the Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ghana United Nations Association,” Dr Tetteh added.
Mr Annan passed away on August 18, in the Swiss city of Bern after a brief illness.
He was laid to rest at the New Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.
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.