The 7th UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan died in Switzerland after a short illness, according to a statement by his family and foundation of Kofi Annan, which announced his death on Saturday morning.
In a statement via social media, they said, “it is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness….”
Anan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
Annan was a scholarship scholar in the US at the age of 20, studying economics, before moving to Geneva where he attended graduate classes. He joined the staff of the World Health Organisation (WHO) based in the Swiss city and took UN posts in Africa and New York.
He became secretary-general in December 1996 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, for bringing new life to the UN and its work for civil rights, against terrorism and in challenging AIDS.
Annan joined the UN at the age of 24, first working as an administrator at the WHO, then becoming head of personnel for the UN’s mission in Cairo, deputy director of the UNHCR in Geneva and deputy UN secretary-general.
In 1993, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali nominated him undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, putting him in charge of 75,000 peacekeepers around the world.