Kofi Annan: A Diplomat Of The Century

Today, we regret to miss a global icon who has fallen into the bosom of death, a necessary end of all. Kofi Annan’s diplomatic life is over. But the legacy of this African doyen will live on to serve as blueprint to prosperity and peace. From Somalia to Afghanistan, Togo to Djibouti, Japan to Korea, India to China his name is embedded in the minds of the common people. His impact on global environment, education, human rights, poverty reduction, Peace and security will be remembered. Kofi Annan will be mourned in every country from the oppressed in Damascus, Tripoli, Harare, Mumbai, Maiduguri, Mogadishu and many states, cities, towns, villages and hamlets will miss Kofi. Under his all-inclusive leadership of the United Nations, the internationally shared goals for development-the Millennium Development Goals, were adapted for the first time in world history. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was created during his regime. About one hundred billion dollars of African debt was forgiven; aid to the poorest countries rose fast; the Responsibility to protect principle moved from one man’s aspiration to unanimous endorsement by the United Nations General Assembly; and the first steps toward the Paris climate agreement were taken. These were just a few of the programmes Kofi Annan, the noble UN chief scribe championed. His achievements confound those who write off the UN as a mere talking chamber. From countries in Asia to Latin America, Africa to the Middle East, he worked to improve on human rights, peaceful elections, and poverty alleviation. For that reason, no single assessment can do justice to the breadth and depth of the successes of a leader who brought the UN’s decision-making out of smoke-filled rooms into the domain of ordinary people in the twenty-first century. Like one of the world leaders said “Each advance made during Annan’s ten years as Secretary-General owed everything to his personal commitment, determination and faith in the future.
And it is a tribute to the moral force of his vision that he made progress at a time when the Security Council was split on almost every major issue – as on Iraq – and the UN’s major financier, the United States…”
Soft spoken, personally modest, gentle, and almost self-effacing Annan, was both a UN insider, promoted from within the organization’s ranks to be the first African to hold the office of Secretary-General, and an anti-establishment campaigner who galvanized and mobilized the international NGO community to force change on often-reluctant states. Of course, the new global order he sought has been long delayed by great-power rivalries, nationalism, and protectionism. Despite his good intentions, the UN failed to prevent the genocide in Rwanda before he became Secretary-General, as well as the wars in Bosnia, Iraq, and, more recently, Syria, where he was a peace envoy for a period. But even when it came to peacemaking, he was more than a witness to history. His charisma made him friends everywhere, and his patience rivaled that of a saint. Despite setbacks and disappointments, he persevered, and ultimately changed our view of what international cooperation could make just a mirror of truth. Kofi Annan, ten years ago labored night and day to bring together both sides after Kenya’s disputed presidential election and post-election ethnic violence. Annan’s mediation undoubtedly prevented the loss of more lives. He spoke about Myanmar and the path-breaking proposals put forth by his Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which, even now, offer the best chance of reconciliation and an end to the crisis that has been destroying lives in that strife-torn country. Even in the last few months of his life, Annan was, as ever, active and available to help in advising on the elections in Zimbabwe, championing youth leadership with his programme to inspire a new generation of internationalists, and calling for more attention to human rights and democracy through the recent reports and conferences run by his foundation. Today, he is gone but his legacy remains. His work will be embossed in the heart of noble men as a reference to service to the human race. The question now is who replaces him? Time will definitely tell.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
BY: YAKUBU LANTAM ABDUL-JABAR, AN AUTHOR AND MEMBER OF THE PAN-AFRICAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History Of Teacher Trainee Allowances

Declining Interest In Reading Among The Youth

Contributions Of Late VEEP Amissah-Arthur To Ghana’s Development