It was with great shock that the Patron of our Foundation, former President Thabo Mbeki, and the rest of the Foundation heard the news that the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, had passed away.
This was particularly shocking given that only a month ago, in July, a healthy looking Kofi Annan had joined the people of South Africa in Johannesburg to celebrate the centenary of the birth of our late eminent leader, Nelson Mandela.
Over the years, as Africans, we have held Kofi Annan in high esteem.
Following on the footsteps of Boutros Boutros Ghali, he was the second African to hold the high position of Secretary General of the UN. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize because of his contribution to world peace during his tenure as UN Secretary General.
The outstanding African diplomat, Kofi Annan, dedicated his adult life to the service of all humanity. He therefore worked in the United Nations for many decades, serving in different positions within the Organisation and its Agencies.
Even after he retired from his life as an international public servant, he continued to carry out many important international missions, many of them as an envoy of the United Nations.
Accordingly, Kofi Annan has left his indelible and positive imprint on many of the greatest global challenges. These include the important issues of world peace, the promotion of human rights, the eradication of poverty and inequality, the protection of the most vulnerable such as refugees, and the renaissance of Africa.
We were confident that as the Chairperson of The Elders, he would continue to make an important contribution to the resolution of the many challenges facing the peoples of Africa and the rest of the world.
We are humbled to convey our sincere condolences to his dear wife, Nane, their children and the rest of the Annan family.
May this eminent son of Africa and principled servant of the peoples of the world, Kofi Annan, rest in peace.
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
August 18, 2018.
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