Geneva, Switzerland: Former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan passed away on Saturday, August 18 at the age of eighty after a short illness. The Ghanian diplomat was the first black African and seventh secretary-general of the UN.

He is known for his work towards bringing reforms in the bureaucracy at UN, combating the deadly HIV in Africa and for launching the UN Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. He was twice the UN secretary general, from January 1, 1997, to December 13, 2006, where he was re-elected to the post in 2001.

The global statesman and internationalist had continued with his humanitarian efforts after leaving the UN and founded the Kofi Annan Foundation and held the position of chairman of a group called The Elders that was founded by former South African president Nelson Mandela. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace with UN in 2001.

The Kofi Annan Foundation said in a statement, “It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness.”

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