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Statement by the Tánaiste on the death of former UNSG Kofi Annan


Statement by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, T.D.,  on the death of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan


“It is with much sadness that I heard this morning of the death of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and champion for peace and human rights. Kofi Annan was an exceptional international statesman who worked tirelessly for a more peaceful and equal world, both during his long and illustrious career in the United Nations and since his retirement, championing the cause of peace and reconciliation, in particular on his own beloved continent of Africa.


Kofi Annan was a dear friend of Ireland and continuously demonstrated strong support for our own peace process and in particular the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed during his leadership of the UN. Mr Annan maintained a dedicated interest to Ireland and the maintenance of peace on this island, commentating as recently as April 2018 on the GFA and its legacy.


Throughout his 45 years of service at the United Nations, Kofi Annan held a number of positions, including Under Secretary General of Peacekeeping from 1992-1996. He became well acquainted with Ireland during his period in this office, and understood and appreciated Ireland’s unparalleled dedication to United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world. During a visit to Ireland in 2004, he met with Irish peacekeepers in Dublin to thank them for their service.


Kofi Annan also visited Ireland in 2015, marking the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the United Nations and the positive and sustained commitment Ireland has made in areas such as peacekeeping, human rights, development and disarmament.


With the sad passing of Kofi Annan, the international community has lost one of its greatest champions for these causes.  His dedication to a more equal, interdependent and peaceful world is a shining example to all. Kofi Annan has left a significant legacy and it is the responsibility of Ireland and all UN member states to carry his mantle into the future.”