NEWS COMMENTARY ON KOFI ANNAN, FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL
The death of Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, is a difficult moment to bear in a world that needs more of his statesmanship to inspire hope and peace. The kernel of his life, however, remains a meaningful chapter of lessons not only for the present generation but also for posterity. In the end, he carved an enviable foothold in history as an avid patriot of humanity, a balm of inspiration and an enduring monument of global legacy. He was a true glittering jewel of Africa and the seal of United Nations trademark of leadership that lit the world in one of her darkest moments in history. Annan vibrantly supported all people working at the UN and its affiliate agencies, especially with African origins. As the first Commissioner of the UN representing Africa South of the Sahara on the International Civil Service Commission and my office as an Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, he was of much support and showed overwhelming interest in my activities.
As a former Chairman of the United Nations Statistical Commission through whose appointment Ghana became the first African country to chair the Commission 31 years ago in March 1987, the late Kofi Annan worked closely with me and others to ensure success. Late Kofi Annan as a true Ghanaian cherished traditional values of his native land. For traditional rulers across the country and beyond, and those in the New Juaben traditional area in particular, he was a gem of tradition and our tribute today as a people represents an important interface between traditional rulers and International governance. His engagements with traditional rulers any time he was in Ghana helped to promote unity among traditional rulers. He was the number one international Ghanaian figure who hoisted the flag of Ghana high everywhere he went. Mr. Annan was a rare gift to mankind whose empathy to the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor endeared him to many irrespective of race, colour or religion. Soft spoken but resolute, Kofi Annan was able to galvanize and mobilize the international community on various issues which yielded tangible results for humanity. He will be remembered for his leadership role in resolving several conflicts across the world and his pioneering leadership in the crafting and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and other initiatives that are promoting human dignity, rights and development. His negotiation, mediation, diplomacy and leadership prowess are exceptional. Ghana, Africa and the rest of the World will sorely miss Kofi, the true face of humanity.
Atta Annan da yie.
May His Soul Rest in Perfect Peace.
BY: DAASEBRE PROF. EMERITUS OTI BOATENG, OMANHENE OF NEW JUABEN TRADITIONAL AREA, UNITED NATIONS COMMISSIONER ON THE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND FORMER CHAIRMAN, UNITED NATIONS STATISTICAL COMMISSION.