World mourns renowned diplomat Kofi Annan

World Today

Leaders and officials the world over are paying tribute to Kofi Annan. CGTN’s Jim Spellman has more on how the human rights giant is being commemorated.

Around the world, Kofi Annan is being remembered as a diplomat and humanitarian.

The former U.N. Secretary General died Saturday at a hospital near his home in Switzerland. He was 80 years old.

“We will remember Kofi Annan most for his dedication to peace and human rights, to his unfailing belief that diplomacy, dialogue, and just that the United Nations works, that we can avoid conflicts, that we can resolve conflicts and that we should never give up,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, released a statement saying in part: “Kofi Annan devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful place through his compassion and dedication to service. He worked tirelessly to unite us and never stopped fighting for the dignity of every person.”

On Twitter UK Prime Minister Theresa May wrote, “He made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. ”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted: “The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.”

In a statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Annan a remarkable man and reflected on their personal relationship, writing: “I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, and his ability to make balanced decisions even in the most complicated and critical situations. The memory of Kofi Annan will remain in the hearts of Russians forever.”

He is also being remembered as a champion of Africa who spent much of his life fighting to make the continent more peaceful and prosperous.

“We were filled with pride to see an African leader dealing with world problems and finding solutions for them, so we dip our heads to him in great memory of him and we will remember him fondly,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa.

In his home country of Ghana, flags will fly at half-staff for a week beginning Monday as that country – and the entire world – mourns the loss of a renowned diplomat.