How global Diplomats showed up at Kofi Annan's funeral


Family, friends and world dignitaries gathered in Ghana's Capital Accra to pay their last respects to fallen ex-UN Chief Dr Koffi Annan. They include former Ghanaian presidents, the leaders of Ivory Coast, Liberia, Namibia and Niger and the Crown Prince of Norway.

The UN chief said Kofi Annan was courageous, speaking truth to power while subjecting himself to intense self-scrutiny.

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that Kofi Annan's contribution towards global peace, which culminated in the award of Noble Peace Prize in 2002, would forever remain as his legacy.

"During the tumultuous era in which he led the United Nations, he combined compassion, commitment and diplomatic skill to bring the Organisation closer to the world's people, build the foundations of peace and give life to the values of the Charter", Guterres said of Kofi Annan, the doyen of world peace.

The UN scribe said: "He pioneered new ideas and initiatives, including the Millennium Development Goals and the landmark reforms in his report titled: "In Larger Freedom".

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Mpohor, Alex Kofi Agyekum, said Mr Annan's intervention helped to avert chaos in the 2016 general elections in Ghana after the Electoral Commission (EC) delayed in releasing the presidential results.

He said the late Kofi Annan was always humble, fair-minded and fought for justice for the underprivileged in the society.

Guterres said now that he occupied the office Annan once held, he is continually inspired by his integrity, dynamism and dedication. Even after finishing his term as Secretary-General, he never stopped battling on the front-lines of diplomacy.

"Kofi straddled many worlds". But he found his surest anchor in his African roots and identity.

For her, it was a privilege to call such a great peacemaker her father. "Kofi was our leader, too", Guterres stressed.

"'Please carry on, I hear him saying". Take care of our planet.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for helping to revitalise the global body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Kofi Annan was married to Nane Maria Lagergren, a Swedish lawyer at the United Nations who has been his wife since 1984, a year after his divorce with Titi Alakija, a Nigerian woman from an aristocratic family, whom he married in 1965.

Mr Annan is survived by his widow Nane Maria, his children and grandchildren.

After that, the body would be conveyed to the Burma Camp Military Cemetery for final interment.

His coffin, draped in Ghanaian national colours, was laid in state for public viewing ahead of the burial yesterday.

The elders said the rites were necessary to clear the path for a peaceful "travel" for their royal.

His opposition to the Iraq War in 2003 endeared him to anti-war groups and drew sharp criticism from US Conservatives, including John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who became national security adviser to President Donald Trump.