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Kofi Annan visits the Netherlands

Source: Mischa Schoemaker/ / WENN

Former United Nations leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has died. The Ghanian national served as the UN chief from 1997 to 2006 and later worked on efforts to bring peace to Syria and the surrounding region.

From the Kofi Annan Foundation:

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. His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days.

Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike.

Annan, along with the UN, won the Nobel for humanitarian work in 2001 and that mission remained with him for the rest of his career.

His passion for the development of Ghana and other African nations extended beyond his time as a special envoy for the UN in Syria, and he was involved with a number of organizations covering climate concerns while remaining, as his foundation stated in their loving tribute, a “global statesman” of high regard.

Annan was 80.

Photo: WENN