The mortal remains of the late United Nations (UN) Secretary General will be laid to rest today at the Military Cemetery in Accra.
The three-day state funeral of Mr Kofi Annan enters its final day today.
Government officials, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament (MPs), Diplomatic Corps, Chiefs among other dignitaries, filed past and paid their last respects to the man described by many as a “Global Icon’ at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
The wife of Kofi Annan was also among the dignitaries who yesterday paid their last respects to the fallen hero.
Her three children—Kojo Annan, Nina Cronstedt de Groot, and Ama Annan—accompanied Nane, who was married to Kofi for over 30 years, respectively.
It was such a difficult moment for the family as the wife and children struggled to hold back their tears while bidding their head of family farewell.
Nane extended pleasantries with the family of Kofi Annan after filing past the remains of her husband.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected in Ghana today, September 13, 2018 to attend the final funeral service.
He will be in the company of a host of other African heads of state including Alassane Dramane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, George Weah of Liberia, Hage Geingob of Namibia, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger among others
Members of the traditional council, chiefs and queen mothers, the Akwamuhene and his delegation including that of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, also paid their last respects after a special tribute by the Asantehene.
Old students from his former school, Mfantsipim Senior High School, were also at the venue in their numbers to mourn him.
They used the opportunity to sing the school’s anthem and chanted some popular songs from their days in school.
The chiefs and people of Akwamu Traditional Council in the Eastern Region, Mr. Annan’s ancestral home, poured libation and performed some rites to bid their beloved farewell.
Kofi Annan died on August 18, 2018, at the age of 80 after a short illness in Switzerland.
People from all walks of life have been trooping to the AICC since Tuesday to view his remains, which was brought into the country from Geneva last Monday.
The burial service for Dr Annan is set to take place this morning at the AICC at 9am.
The service will see the attendance of UN officials, Heads of State, Diplomatic delegations and the general public.
It will be followed by a private burial at midday at the Military Cemetery with full military honours and 17 gun salutes.
According to government sources, the late Dr Annan’s personal statement stressed on a simple and solemn final ceremony devoid of any fun-fare.
Mr Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
Annan was born in Kumasi; Annan went on to study economics at Macalester College, international relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and management at MIT.
He joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office.
He then went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.
Annan was appointed as the Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first officeholder to be elected from the UN staff itself.
He was re-elected for a second term in 2001, and was succeeded as Secretary-General by Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2007.
As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy; worked to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact.
He was criticised for not expanding the Security Council and faced calls for resignation after an investigation into the Oil-for-Food Programme.
After leaving the UN, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development.
In 2012, Annan was the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there.
Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution.
In September 2016, Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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