Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general who won the Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work, has died aged 80, international diplomats say.
The BBC has reported that he “passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness”, the foundation named after him said on Saturday.
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving from 1997 to 2006. The Ghanaian was the seventh secretary-general of the UN between 1997 and 2006 and won the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work.
He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
In a statement announcing his death, the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.
“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”
Annan’s tenure as UN secretary-general coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Here are some of Kofi’s most notable quotes
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.More countries have understood that women’s equality is a prerequisite for development.There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole – women and men alike – than the one which involves women as central players.Business, labor and civil society organizations have skills and resources that are vital in helping to build a more robust global community.The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.