FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Arizona, USA
KOFI ANNAN: A QUINTESSENTIAL DIPLOMAT DIES AT 80

ofi Atta Annan was born on April 8, 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana. Kofi Annan was a quintessential Ghanaian diplomat who served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2006. He was along with the United Nations jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. The indefatigable strongman, charismatic and consummate diplomat was reputed for making domestic and international peace.

Kofi was a soft-spoken man with clear and concise diction in international discourse and the presentation of his historic speeches! His peaceful and diplomatic approach to world peace was aimed at revitalizing the United Nations. His gentle demeanor was misconceived as passivity, but Kofi Annan was a man imbued with careful and well calibrated thoughts to bring about peace amongst the warring nations.

Kofi Annan had a rumble voice in the global wilderness. The world has lost another gem in the international relations and diplomacy. Kofi was also a humble man from a humbled background. He rose to be the number one umpire in the global affairs. At a time when the world peace was blustered, Kofi Annan inherited challenges that were existential threats to the world. He tried his best unilaterally to avert the unilateral decision of the US-led coalition war in Iraq. A war that produced extremism and violence that continues to decimate the beleaguered world.

During his tumultuous leadership periods as the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan's quintessential disposition towards world's strives was gradually coming to fruition before the United States' invasion of Iraq punctuated his efforts at reforming the giant body (UN) for global peace. Kofi Annan was "a guiding force for good" in a world that was increasingly etching into abyss! At a period nation states were loosing influence on global issues that matter, Kofi Annan came as a peaceful force to rewrite the global challenges. He was the first African to occupy the world body's leadership position in the history of the UN.

The departure of Kofi Annan and the invasion of Iraq gave rise to global disorder. Agitation and enforcement of cultural values and identity culture which are inimical to a unified world became prominent. Now, the rise of protectionalism, isolationism, "make my country great again" and the white nationalism has exposed and dwarfed the international peace, robust relations and global coexistence. Nation states and nihilistic far-rights are increasingly becoming more concerned about how to make their countries great, a far cry from the conception and inception of the United Nations' mission statement.

If the world must know peace, Kofi Annan's peaceful and moral prescriptions must be enforced and encouraged globally. There must be inclusion of collective nationhood instead of the current agitation for individual exclusion in global territorialism. We will improve nation states when we improve individual nations without global exclusion. In order to create a nation states, the world must begin to imagine a collective efforts to save the world. The current United Nations is comatose, very inept and dysfunctional. The world body needs a reorganized United Nations independent of the dictates from the Kremlin and Washington. The world body has become a toothless bulldog voided by inconsistencies and so many ineffective moves to maintain global peace and order.

The way Kofi Annan managed the crisis that rocked United Nations' "food for oil" showed a man who was a manager of international argy-bargy. Kofi Annan was an internationalist and a champion of human rights and global peace. His foundation has contributed immensely to the promotion of world peace in the last decade. He had his regrets though, and one of them was the complacent and failure of the international community to avert the April 7, 1994 July 1994 genocidal war in Rwanda. It was an internecine war that claimed between 500,0002,000,000 lives. The egregious facts about the war is the scars it imprinted in our collective psyche. Kofi's regret about Rwandan genocide culminated with the Bosnia and Herzegovina civil war. "This painful memory along with that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has influenced much of my thinking, and many of my actions, as secretary-general," Annan said in his 2004 note about the war between Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Life is what we make of it. Whatever problem we face and fail to solve today, whether by commission or omission is going to be an instrument for future development. Kofi Annan was here, he played his part and he has left the rest for continuity; and life must continue.

The legacy of the demise diplomat and ombudsman will continue to rattle the conscience and consciousness of the world. May the gentle soul of the vintage diplomat of our time rest in perfect peace.


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