Caribbean Leaders Pays Tribute to Late UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Kofi Anman death

Tributes are pouring in from the Caribbean for former United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan following his death over the weekend, with many describing him as a global statesman.

The renowned Ghanaian diplomat passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness, according to a statement published on his official Twitter account. He was 80 years old.

Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the world has lost a skilled international statesman, Ghana has lost a son of its soil, and Barbados has lost a friend.

She recalled that in January 2002, Annan visited Barbados in the capacity of Secretary General of the United Nations in order to open the UN House in Barbados. In commending Barbados for its achievements and its profile in the international arena, he said that Barbados “punches above its weight”. That phrase quickly became a description of Barbados’ state of development and its role in international politics.

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

The Bahamas government described the late UN top official as “a global statesman who always strived for the best in finding common ground to resolve differences in the world”.

In his message, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the world had lost a great humanitarian icon who served with distinction during his two-term tenure as Secretary General.

He said Annan “was the epitome of a dedicated and committed international civil servant”.

The Trinidad and Tobago leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, pointed to the issues that the late Annan had championed at the United Nations which were aligned with the priorities of its member states, including the twin-island republic, 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,” he said.

Annan was the seventh man to take the helm of the global organization and the first Secretary-General to emerge from the ranks of its staff.

Read more: Caribbean360