General News of Saturday, 8 September 2018
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has organized a symposium to celebrate the life of the late former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan.
Mr. Annan, a “world class statesman” died at the age of 80 in Switzerland. Air Vice-Marshall Griffiths S. Evans, the Commandant, said the Centre was privileged to bear the name of the African and global icon.
“His name and our association with him, is of inestimable value to us. His name has given us global prominence and opportunities for our work as a Centre.”
He added that Mr Annan partnered the KAIPTC to establish the West African commission on drugs to address the growing drug problem in sub-region.
“This great son of Africa and of humanity has built a priceless legacy for us, the legacy of being the embodiment of peace, peacekeeping and being a global treasure.”
Dr. Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said late UN Chief was held in high respect that was unique because he was “one of them”. During his tenure as the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Annan’s breadth of experience inside the UN, from administration and operations, to human rights, refugees, peacekeeping, and his understanding of how the UN ticked, from inside UN Agencies, to the workings of the General Assembly, and the Security Council, was far beyond that of any prior Secretary-General. Dr Evans-Klock spoke of how he had worked in many places to resolve conflicts and to avert disasters, both as Secretary-General and thereafter through the Kofi Annan Foundation, he founded. “Here in Ghana, he was keenly interested in development and the work of the UN, which he expressed in understated, modest ways” she added. Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said his passing had evoked an unparalleled combination of admiration, inspiration and focus on his solemnity of manner, adding that, his absence would be greatly felt.
Speaking on the theme “Kofi Annan’s role in Ghana’s international diplomacy”, she said he was an embodiment of the best of Ghanaian values, culture, and foreign policy.
“As an international civil servant and a consummate professional at that, Mr Annan’s neutrality in the discharge of duties at the UN was a sine qua non, yet he was not an orphan of the world but one with deep roots in Ghana.”
Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, Mr Ambrose Derry, Interior Minister, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of the Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, Chief of Naval Staff, Air Vice Marshal Maxwell Mantsebi-Tei Nagai, Chief of Air Staff, Mr Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO Representative in Ghana; Mr Patrick Hayford, former Director UN Office of the Special Advisor in Africa; Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, former Director, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, University of Ghana; and Madam Olubanke Akerele, a former Liberian Foreign Minister, were among those present.