Calling Kofi Annan - who died on 18th August and was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006 - a leader with hard-won wisdom and maturity in our time, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary gave thanks to God for Annan's life, which he described as a gift to the United Nations and the whole world.
“He will be recalled as the leader who acted to unify and transform the United Nations,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC general secretary. Tveit added that Annan was a “liberator who by force of his personality inspired the political leaders and grassroots movement to work for just peace in the world.”
In her reaction to Annan's death, Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, said, “We thank God for giving us Kofi Annan for 80 years. Through his life and works he has become an icon of just peace and freedom for all human beings.”
Abuom said: “We will remember Annan for his strong commitment to just peace and mutual accountability. We have lost a great leader and diplomat who served with humility and purpose of the task. As a mediator we in Kenya remember his historic role as he helped save Kenya from the brink of civil war in 2007/2008. May God rest his soul in eternal peace.”
“Our prayer is all that Annan stood for may become part and parcel of our global values for justice, peace and dignity for the whole humanity,” added Abuom.
WCC President in Europe, Archbishop emeritus Dr Anders Weyryd commented: ”Kofi Annan was a credible and much needed revitaliser of the UN. His integrity and commitment arose respect and renewed the will of many to support the UN and its mission.”
Annan's life was also described by the WCC’s general secretary as “consistent with the best teaching of nonviolent leadership”. Calling him one of the well deserved Nobel peace laureates, Tveit added that Annan's leadership ideals inspired a new generation and transformed the United Nations during his leadership. Annan also strengthen the role of religious leaders in peace building. [WCC News]