Kudos for Kofi - Jamaican leaders join the rest of the world in tributes to the former UN secretary general
Jamaica's political leaders have joined the rest of the world in paying tribute to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who died yesterday at the age of 80.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness described Annan as "a humanitarian icon".
According to Holness: "Mr Annan served with distinction during his two-term tenure from 1997 to 2006 and was the epitome of a dedicated and committed international civil servant."
He noted that Annan was "the second person from Africa and the first black African to hold this high office, but he also stood out in several other ways as leader of the world body.
"Among his most significant pursuits was his persistent call for governments to be held accountable for the treatment of their people.
"The former UN secretary general was also an architect of the Millennium Development Goals which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality. These and other humanitarian accomplishments earned him the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001."
For Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, Annan was one of the best-known and effective UN leaders of modern time.
"The world has lost one of the defining figures of the international community of modern time," said Phillips.
He added: "Mr Annan exemplified the quiet dignity
and intellectual strength that defined and fuelled global changes and brought a new level of understanding to international relations.
"Mr Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, played a pivotal role in addressing crises which have shaped the world, from the HIV/AIDS pandemic to the Iraq War and, latterly, climate change."
Friend of Jamaica
The Opposition leader said that Annan's famous quote "suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere" speaks volumes to the heart and soul of late world leader.
"Mr Annan was a friend of Jamaica who visited the island on many occasions. He was the consummate diplomat and a man who was committed to programmes that sought to improve the lives of vulnerable and oppressed people globally," said Philips.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith said Annan had significantly contributed to the development of the UN through his unwavering dedication and service.
"He was a true champion of women's empowerment and made significant stride in global initiatives to promote not only women's rights, but human rights on a whole," said Johnson Smith, as she expressed condolences to the government and people of his home country, Ghana.