Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, who died on August 18 aged 80, is set to be buried in his home country of Ghana.
After a public memorial service at the International Conference Centre in the capital, Accra, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be laid to rest during a private ceremony at Accra’s military cemetery on Thursday.
Annan’s wife, Nane, his children and grandchildren, along with Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo and other senior government officials, top military officers and diplomats from across the world are expected to attend.
Annan’s body was transferred from Switzerland, where he died, to the West African nation on Monday and since then thousands of Ghanaians have been paying their respects to Annan at the conference centre, where he is lying in state.
Annan leaves behind a distinguished legacy as a global statesman and a champion of peace, dialogue, human rights and the rule of law.
He assumed the role of UN secretary general in January 1997. During his nearly 10-year term, he travelled the world to urge governments to support the United Nations.
Annan played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counterterrorism strategy.
He was the second UN secretary general to win the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it jointly with the UN in 2001.
After stepping down from the UN, Annan continued to work for peace as the head of the Geneva-based Kofi Annan Foundation and The Elders, a group of international leaders founded by Nelson Mandela.