14 September 2018

Africa: A Well-Deserved Funeral for an Illustrious Son


INDEED, it was a well-dignified funeral and thanksgiving service for the late illustrious son and a global icon, Kofi Annan. The world virtually converged in Accra, Ghana, to participate in the funeral rites at the Accra International Conference Centre, before the remains was later laid to rest at the Military Cemetery at Burma Camp.

World leaders and dignitaries came from all over the globe; from different religious, ethnic and political persuasion. The attendance at the pre-burial service took a semblance of "United Nations General Assembly."

This time, it was to glorify, pay last respects and acknowledge the contribution of the former UN Secretary General, who spent greater part of his life working and travelling across the globe to help build a peaceful, stable and all inclusive society for humanity.

The mixture of solemnity and light hearted humour at the funeral amply demonstrated preparedness of the entire world to accept the death of a loved one!

The death of Kofi Annan on August 18, and his burial yesterday, had once more put Ghana, on the global limelight, and the government through the Funeral Planning Committee, rose to the occasion to deliver a dignified and benefitting funeral as well as a thanksgiving service to God for a personality many described as God's gift to the world.

The superlative description of Kofi Annan, in a tribute by President Nana Akufo-Addo, as a charming, cosmopolitan, consensus-builder, eloquent, proud African, peace maker... and quintessential diplomat, encapsulate the description of the man Ghana is proud of and thankful to God for.

The Ghanaian Times appreciates the enormous efforts put into laying to rest the Noble Peace laureate. He was a peaceful man, he died peacefully and his funeral was held in a peaceful atmosphere attended by peace-loving individuals, organisation and world leaders.

We wish to once more extend our condolences to the bereaved family and his friends and colleagues at the UN and urge them to continue to be inspired and aspire to provide the leadership for the kind of world we all wish to live on.

Kofi Annan may be gone but we know that wherever he is, it is his fervent hope that, the UN system would continue to be inspired by his contribution and passion to build a better future for all.

As we have observed in our previous editorial, the best tribute in memory of this illustrious son and global icon is to continue with what he stood for- a society that everyone feels part of the other.

He left us with the Millennium Development Goals that transited into the Sustainable Development Goals. The underlining principle of this global social policy is to build an all inclusive society, eradicate extreme poverty by putting smiles on the poor and vulnerable peoples, while taking steps to protect the planet for future generations to live in dignity. This is what he stood for!

The late Kofi Annan could not do it all, but he has set the pace and provided direction for the world. We cannot afford to veer off from this development trajectory.

Kofi Annan's burial coincided with the release of the State of Food Security and Nutrition report by the UN, with a clear message that climate variability and exposure to more complexes, frequent and intense climate extremes are threatening to erode and even reverse the gains made in ending hunger and malnutrition.

Kofi Annan, you are dead and gone, but we would never forget you. We will forever remember you for your humanitarian work. We undertake to keep the planet safe as you would have wished and protect thousands from hunger and malnutrition.


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