Kofi Annan served as UN Secretary-General from 1997 through 2006. © UN Photo/Evan Schneider
It is with great sadness that I have learned the news today of the passing of Kofi Annan, one of the world’s leading international statesmen and a much cherished former UN Secretary-General.
Annan was a friend to us all at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Since the 1980s, when he worked at UNHCR here in Geneva, until his last years, he remained an enduring voice on behalf of refugees and all who are oppressed.
In him, the millions worldwide forced to flee wars and persecution had a constant champion at the highest international levels.
My thoughts and prayers today are with Kofi and with his family. The world has lost a great man. And I have lost a good friend, a mentor, a role model and a valuable advisor. His legacy will set the highest moral standard for all people who work to make our world more peaceful and humane.