Accra, Ghana, 13 September 2018 – Kofi Annan was a great son of Ghana, the African continent and people at large. These were the words of UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, George Okoth-Obbo in his eulogy for the late UN Secretary-General this week.
“On the global level, Mr. Annan was epitomized by his stand for peaceful coexistence and community amongst all people” Okoth-Obbo said in his remarks ahead of the funeral of Annan in Ghana.
Annan, who died last month, was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Okoth-Obbo represented UNHCR at Annan’s funeral and spoke about the close personal association the late Secretary-General had with UNHCR where he served as its Director of Human Resources before later leading the United Nations.
In a brief meeting with UNHCR staff in Ghana, he noted that Annan was a champion for UNHCR and its global work for refugees and displaced persons.
“The fruits of his efforts for global peace – from Kenya to Syria or Myanmar – would hopefully prevent or diminish the brutal displacement of people or make it possible for those forced to find protection from their homes to return in safety and confidence,” Okoth-Obbo said.
Okoth-Obbo said the world was grateful to the people of Ghana and Africa for all the ways in which they contributed to such a venerable human being as Kofi Annan who had an impact on the lives of so many.
“The debt we owe to the memory of Mr. Annan is by our personal and public lives to try and diminish conflict and strife and multiply the things which bring us closer together,” he remarked. “To his family who must be feeling his passing even more personally, we hope it will be possible for them to find the fortitude to overcome this great loss,” he concluded.
Okoth-Obboh was accompanied by the UNHCR West Africa Regional Representative, Liz Ahua. Staff in Ghana observed a moment’s silence for Mr. Kofi Annan.
The former UN Secretary General passed away in Switzerland on August 18, 2018.
Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.
Related pictures from the event:
By Patience Folley