Kofi Annan is dead
Published:Saturday | August 18, 2018 | 8:34 AM
Kofi Annan, the first black African to serve as Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), has died.
He was 80.
The career diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, died in hospital in Switzerland early this morning, his aides and the foundation named after him confirmed.
Annan lived in the Swiss city of Bern for several years before his death.
"He passed away peacefully after a short illness", the Kofi Annan Foundation said in a statement.
The foundation described the former UN chief 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," the statement said.
Annan served two terms as UN chief from 1997 to 2006.
In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to revitalise the international body during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Annan described his greatest achievement as the Millennium Development Goals which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.
He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.