Kofi Annan’s death has left an enormous vacuum in international diplomacy, Patrick Hayford, a director at the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, has said.
He said the former United Nation’s (UN) Secretary-General would be sorely missed at a time where “tensions are rising, people are engaged in trade wars and the level of rhetoric internationally is so bitter and so acrimonious.”
Since his death on Saturday, Kofi Annan has been hailed in tributes as the quintessential diplomat and pacifist.
He served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.
Patrick Hayford echoed these sentiments 0n the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday.
“His personality, his humility, his calm. He was always calm. He was very measured in his public statements. He proffered carefully and forcefully when discussing any of the complex issues he was dealing with.”
He recalled that Kofi Annan was also quick to take responsibility for the UN’s failings during the Rwandan Genocide when he was the head of UN Peacekeeping missions.
“There was plenty of blame to go round, but he [Kofi Annan] apologized profoundly for the failure of the united nations to do more.”
In his role at the top of the UN, Kofi Annan also served as a dignified ambassador of Ghana.
“Having him as Secretary General made Ghana much more widely known internationally and by the dignity and the effectiveness with which he executed his mandate, he did great honor to Ghana.”
Kofi Annan, who died aged 80, is reported to have fallen ill on his way back from South Africa where he partook in the Mandela centenary.
He was hospitalized in Geneva and later airlifted to the capital, Bern.
Kofi Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He was awarded the Peace Prize for having revitalized the UN and for having given priority to human rights.
The Nobel Committee also recognized his commitment to the struggle of containing the spread of HIV in Africa and his declared opposition to international terrorism.
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.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana