By Belinda Ayamgha, GNA
Accra, Sept. 13, GNA – “Mr Kofi Annan was an
exceptional world leader, a person in whom virtually everyone in the world
could identify with, be they youth or those on the far reaches of poverty,” Mr
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said in a tribute to
the memory of Mr Annan on Thursday.
Reading the United Nations’ tribute at the
burial service of the Late Kofi Annan, former UN General Secretary and Nobel
Peace Laureate, Mr. Guterres described him as “one of a kind and one of us,”
He praised Mr Annan’s ability to bring
different people together and unite them for their common goals and for ‘our
common humanity’, adding that, Kofi Annan defied the old joke about the art of
diplomacy, which is to say nothing, especially when one was speaking.
“Kofi Annan could say everything, sometimes
without uttering the words. It came from the dignity, from the vision and the
humanity that was so deep in him,” he stated.
Mr Guterres, a former Prime Minister of
Portugal, said although the late statesman had a gentle voice that made one
smile and think of music, his words were tough and wise and sometimes the
graver the situation, the lower the voice got.
Kofi Annan, he said, was courageous and spoke
the truth and subjected himself to intense scrutiny and as UN Secretary
General, had an almost mystical sense of how to use the UN as a force for good
in a world of ills.
He paid tribute to Kofi Annan’s work at the
UN, including his reform of the organisation, bringing it closer to the people
of the world, his work in HIV/AIDS, the development of the Millennium
Development Goals, Human Rights and other important initiatives.
“Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the
United Nations was him,” he said, to thunderous applause.
“Now that I occupy the office Kofi once held,
I am continuously inspired by his integrity and his dedication,” he noted.