India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan’s death
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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan’s death

Kofi Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2018 18:38 IST
Kofi Annan,Kofi Annan India,Ram Nath Kovind
Kofi Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006.(REUTERS)

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Aam Aadmi Party convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled Annan’s death, terming it as a “great loss” to humanity.

Kejriwal in his Independence Day speech on August 15, had recalled Annan’s praise for his government’s initiative Mohalla Clinics, and announced that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate would visit Delhi in September, to see for himself the running of the clinics.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Today we mourn the passing away of Kofi Annan. He was an able diplomat who served as UN Secretary-General. His contribution to peace won him the Nobel Prize in 2001. My heartfelt condolences to his family and his admirers around the world.”

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 18:38 IST