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Carry on Kofi Annan’s flame of legacy – Ban Ki-Moon urges

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-Moon has urged the world not to abandon what Kofi Annan stood for.

Mr Ki-Moon who took over from Kofi Annan in 2007 said his predecessor’s legacy is one that must live on and illuminate the current and yet to be born generations.

“Let us carry on the legacy of Kofi Annan for humanity and peace and development, and I am sure that the flame of his legacy will continue the world brighter and brighter,” he told Joy News’ Evans Mensah at the UN headquarters.

He was speaking at an event where tributes are being paid to Mr Annan at the Assembly’s Plenary Meeting, Friday.

Mr Annan, 80, died in a hospital in Switzerland last month after a short illness.

He served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.

Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

His Foundation described him a global statesman and a 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,” a statement released after his death read.

He was laid to rest this month at an elaborate state funeral in Ghana.

In the UN General Assembly Hall, the current Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mr Ki-Moon and other dignitaries have taken part in the Assembly’s plenary meeting to pay tribute to Mr Annan.

Mr Ki-Moon described his predecessor as a man of vision, widely respected for his courageous vision and commitment for human right and justice.

He said news about Mr Annan’s death came as a shock to him. “In fact, it affected me…sort of a mental shock,” he told Evans Mensah.

A shaken Ki-Moon was, however, not surprised at the outpouring of love from across the globe.

“He was a monumental leader with a great vision. He was a man of humanity and commitment that is why the world is grieving on his death,” Mr Ki-Moon said.

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