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Remembering Kofi Annan – OpEd

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Interestingly, six letters were delivered and only 42 Russian and foreign sympathizers have signed the book of condolence for former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, that closed the end of August at the Embassy of the Republic of Ghana in Moscow.

The “few sympathizers” who signed the book came from the Russian political institutions and Diplomatic Representations of the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America in the Russian Federation.

Undoubtedly, Moscow is the seat of the Russian government. Federation Council and State Duma, ministries and departments, many international organizations, diplomatic offices and academic institutions are located here.

On August 18, at 15:00, President Vladimir Putin sent an official message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The text of the message reads: “This remarkable man and great politician dedicated many years of his life to serving the United Nations. He served at the helm of the UN during a complicated period and did a great deal to achieve the goals and tasks of the Organization, enhancing its central role in global affairs.”

Especially significant was his personal contribution to building up the peacemaking potential of the UN and settling a number of regional conflicts, he continued.

“The world community did justice to Kofi Annan’s efforts as evidenced by the Nobel Prize awarded to him. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with Kofi Annan personally. I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, and his ability to make balanced decisions even in the most complicated and critical situations,” he wrote.

Putin concluded: “The memory of Kofi Annan will remain in the hearts of Russians forever. Please relate my words of heartfelt sympathy and support to Annan’s family and friends, the staff of the UN Secretariat, and the government and people of Ghana.”

In my view, there are people who slept peaceful because they did what in their opinion served humanity best. Kofi Annan will remain a firm moral hero because of his wisdom and sense of purpose. UN is supposed to be a unifying point and Annan tried the best he could to run and manage it effectively.

As Aristotle said, “Even God cannot change the past” – and/or in simple literature William Shakespeare wrote, “what is done can never be undone” and so, Kofi Annan admirably and firmly remains a global diplomat with something worth saying. Sad indeed, he is irreplaceable and his life irreversible. RIP the best diplomat and face of Africa.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, passed away after a short illness on August 18, 2018, at the age of 80, in Switzerland. He was born in 1938.

The family has kindly asked that no flowers be sent. For those still wishing to have their thoughts and support reflected in a gift, they suggest a contribution to the Kofi Annan Foundation: www.kofiannanfoundation.org/donate, according to the family.

The Government of Ghana has announced details of all arrangements for a State ceremony and burial, proposed to take place Thursday, Sept 13, in Accra, capital of Ghana.


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Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent research writer and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a board member of the Regional Council on Development of Relations with Africa, an economic and trade policy organization created by the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Moscow Region).

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