A commemoration ceremony that paid tribute to the former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, was held on Friday on the premises of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The event was attended by the UN family in Ethiopia as well as representatives from the government of Ethiopia and the diplomatic corps.
Kofi Annan who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, died on August 18 at the age of 80.
“He was a noble defender of humanity, the symbol of great authority and wisdom in the public and private spheres.
“A voice for the vulnerable. An inspiration for youth. In the face of adversity, he remained a beacon of hope,” said the ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe.
Elaborating on his numerous achievements, Songwe said, “he was the first Secretary-General to champion Road Safety, which is an issue in many countries.
“His tenure was hardly without debate or criticism, but he also acknowledged his failures and limitations.”
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He was also the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
Speaking on the occasion, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Afework Kassu, noted that Annan made all Africans proud by his tireless service for the cause of peace, sustainable development, the rights of women and above all by being the staunch vanguard of the UN Charter.
Conveying his condolence on the day Annan passed away, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Mahamat, has noted that both during his time as Secretary-General and thereafter, within the framework of his Foundation and the Elders, Kofi Annan made a tremendous contribution to the quest for durable peace and sustainable development in the world.
Speaking on Friday’s ceremony at UNECA, the Deputy Chief of Staff at the African Union (AU) highlighted the efforts made by Kofi Annan in strengthening the AU-UN relationship.