Ghanian diplomat and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan passed away on Saturday at the age of 80.
An official release that was issued on his official Twitter account suggested that Annan was suffering from a short illness and passed away peacefully on August 18.
Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. During his time as the Secretary-General, Annan and the UN became the co-recipients of Nobel Prize in 2001.
He is the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan foundation which aimed at a joint thought to promote peace a fair and better governance across the world.
Additionally, Annan was also the chairman of The Elders which is an international NGO set up by Nelson Mandela in 2007. The members of the organization described themselves as "independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights"
Among the many reforms that he brought about, Annan during his time as the Secretary-General of the UN worked rigorously to combat HIV, especially in Africa and had launched the UN Global Compact. Apart from that, he was the first office holder in the UN to be elected from the UN staff itself.
Annan was born in Kumasi and is an alumnus of the Macalester College, Graduate Institute of Geneva and MIT. He began his career at UN in the year 1962 in the World Health Organization's Geneva office. Post that, he continued to work in the UN headquarters and held several positions including Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.
Soon after being elected to office in 1997, Annan released two reports proposing management reforms. As a remarkable mark in his career, Annan was credited to sow the seeds of the Millennium Development Goals that was later signed by 189 countries. In 2000, Annan issued a report titled as
"We the peoples: the role of the United Nations in the 21st century" which argued that developed countries with over 50 years of globalization experience should be reassessed by the UN as to the way it operates. The report called out the member countries to "put people at the center of everything we do. No calling is more noble, and no responsibility greater, than that of enabling men, women, and children, in cities and villages around the world, to make their lives better."