Known and admired by all as a pillar of peace and principle, Kofi Annan’s tribute has not all been about tears and sympathy calls but also the brave achievements chalked in the span of his tenure as the first-ever secretary-general of the UN to have hailed from Ghana and best of all, the African continent.
The list below shows the top 10 achievements of the late Kofi Annan.
1. The launch of the Global Compact campaign in 1999
This initiative was one of the greatest achievements by Kofi Annan. It paved way for the promotion of corporate social responsibility among business organizations in the world.
2. Fight against HIV/AIDS
The late Kofi Annan played a pivotal role in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. During his tenure, Kofi Annan in the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1308 which picked out HIV/AIDS as a major security threat the world.
In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS was held—the first-ever meeting of world leaders on a health issue at the United Nations.
3. Global peace and reconciliation
It was under the tenure of the late Kofi Annan that the world experienced an appreciable level of peace and reconciliation. Kofi Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for their work for “a better organized and more peaceful world.”
According to the UN, Kofi Annan “played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by Member States of the “responsibility to protect” people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.
4. Human rights and social justice
The late Kofi Annan was a passionate advocate of human rights and a strong believer in the universal values of equality, tolerance and Human Dignity.
He was integral in the establishment of two new intergovernmental bodies; the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council in 2005.
5. Calming nerves over the Iraq invasion
During the 2003 Iraq invasion, there were debates over whether or not the entire invasion was justified. Kofi Annan stood his grounds during this diplomatic standoff – declaring the entire development as “illegal”.
Kofi Annan boldly argued that the Iraq invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN’s founding charter.
6. Nigeria-Cameroon crisis moment
In the wake of the 2006 settlement dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Penninsula, Kofi Annan managed to mediate a settlement which prevented hostilities between both African states.
7. Peacekeeping training
The establishment of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training center remains one of the global achievements of Kofi Annan. The establishment of this center in 1998 has equipped many African countries with the strength to deal with conflict resolution. The peacekeeping center has further equipped many governments with the military skills of restoring peace and stability in war-torn and conflict-prone areas.
8. Breaking through ranks of the UN
Kofi Annan emerged from the ranks of United Nations staff to serve as the Secretary-General of the UN. He remains the only staff of the United Nations (UN) in the history of the UN to achieve his feat.
9. Reforms in the United Nations
In his role as Secretary-General, Annan developed a comprehensive reform programme, which was designed to improve the UN’s approach to its work and increase the effectiveness of the international system.
In addition to this, he continually advocated for the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, the rule of law, and human rights.
10. The Ghanaian identity
Despite his power and influence as the secretary-general of the UN, Kofi Annan still maintained his identity as a Ghanaian and proud son of Africa. Born in Kumasi on 8 April 1938, Kofi Annan still identified himself for the Ghanaian he is and he was respected across the world for this.
Ghana mourns Kofi Annan
“I have directed that, in his honour, Ghana’s national flag will fly at half-mast across the country and in all of Ghana’s diplomatic missions across the world, from Monday, 20th August 2018, for one week,” Nana Addo.
Kofi Annan’s family stated that Kofi Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday, 18th August after a short illness. His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days.
“The family kindly requests privacy at this time of mourning. Arrangements to celebrate his remarkable life will be announced later,” the statement noted.