Regional leaders pay tribute to former UN Secretary General

Kofi Annan (FILE PHOTO)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC)  -The Prime Ministers of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have paid tribute to former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who died on Saturday.

 Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, says “Barbados has lost a friend and the world has lost a skilled international statesman.”

“During his historic stewardship of the United Nations, Kofi Annan redefined, revitalised and brought a measure of reform to that premier multilateral organisation. His achievements were many, but of particular significance and relevance to Barbados was his work on building an international development agenda.” 

“It was in January 2002 that Kofi Annan visited Barbados in the capacity of Secretary General of the United Nations in order to open the U.N. House in Barbados. In commending Barbados for its achievements and its profile in the international arena, Secretary General Annan said that Barbados “punches above its weight,” she added.

The Prime Minister said that Kofi Annan’s legacy will forever live in the history of the world (and) “Barbados will always remember this great statesman for his dignity, his vision and his support to our national development efforts.”

For his part, Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago, said the government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago join the international community in mourning the passing of  the former U.N. Secretary and Nobel Peace Laureate.

“Trinidad and Tobago not only shares the loss of Mr. Annan with the world, but particularly with the African region and the countries of the Global South.”

“The former United Nations Secretary-General championed issues at the United Nations which are aligned with the priorities of its Member States, including Trinidad and Tobago, at the multilateral level. These priorities include peace and security, development, poverty reduction, combatting climate change, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, combatting terrorism and the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women,” Rowley said.

Kofi Annan, the first black African to serve as Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), died peacefully after a short illness. He was 80.

The career diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, died in a  hospital in Switzerland.

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