Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the UN and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has passed away at the age of 80.
A UN agency confirmed the news on Saturday. The UN Migration Agency tweeted, “Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary.”
A statement was also later released from the Kofi Annan Organisation Twitter account. The message read, “It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness…”
The statement did not specify what happened to the statesman, adding that his family had been with him when he passed and that they were looking for privacy in this difficult time. Funerals for his remembrance will be announced later.
Read the full statement here:
Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the international organization, serving from 1997 to 2006, and was the first one to have risen from within the ranks of the UN. In 2001, Annan won the Nobel Peace Prize along with the United Nations ‘for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world’.
After his stint with the United Nations, he became a member of The Elders, an independent group of local leaders trying to further human rights from 2007 onwards. He became chairman of the organiation in 2013, when the original founder, Nelson Mandela, passed away.
The organization also includes Ban Ki-Moon, Ela Bhatt and Lakhdar Brahimi.
Annan left behind his wife Nane three children, Ama, Kojo and Nina.