President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Statement on the passing of former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan

18 August 2018

On behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sincere condolences on the sad passing of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan of Ghana.

Upon hearing the news of his untimely death, President Ramaphosa reflected on the life and legacy of Mr Annan. He noted that, “Former UN Secretary-General Annan was a consummate diplomat, who lived a life in service of humanity”. President Ramaphosa stated that “In becoming the first African UN Secretary-General from Sub Sahara and also the first Secretary-General to rise from within the UN system as a career diplomat, he became a symbol of African excellence and the contribution that Africans were making towards peace, development and human rights throughout the world. Through his tireless efforts, he was instrumental in strengthening and promoting the multilateral system of global governance in the quest to ensure that the people of this world enjoy the freedom as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations”. 

After his term as Secretary-General had come to an end, Mr Annan continued his service towards making the world a better place by chairing the Group of Elders who are dedicated to improving peace and human rights.

President Ramaphosa recalled that Mr Annan received South Africa’s National Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in 2004 for his role in the struggle against colonialism worldwide, serving as an inspiration for the fight against apartheid.

President Ramaphosa expressed his heartfelt condolences to Mr Annan’s wife, Nane, his family, the people of Ghana, and indeed the entire United Nations on the passing of this great son of Africa.


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