Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, has died at the age of 80 after a short illness, his family and foundation announced on Saturday.

The Ghanaian was the seventh secretary general of the UN between 1997 and 2006 and won the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work.

Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, he was the first secretary general to emerge from the ranks of United Nations staff.

He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland with his wife, Nane, and three children Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side.

Annan’s foundation issued a statement on his Twitter account on Saturday morning that described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.

The statement added that Annan, who succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN leader, was a “son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa”.

Source: The Guardian

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