What follows are remarks delivered by Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres the funeral of Kofi Annan in Accra, Ghana on September 13, 2018.
Since the shock of former United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special.
To my mind, it is simply this: Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us.
He was an exceptional global leader — and he was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaches of poverty, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior UN staffer following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath “always remember, you are never too young to lead — and we are never too old to learn.”
Like few in our time, Kofi Annan could bring people together, put them at ease, and unite them towards a common goal for our common humanity.