The President of the United Nations Association, Peter Nichols, alongside the members of the United Nations Association
of New Zealand have acknowledged the sad passing the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace
Prize laureate Kofi Annan, with a letter of condolence to his family.
UNA NZ was deeply saddened by the passing of such an esteemed United Nations Rangatira and remember him as a champion of
Peace and Human Rights who often embodied the world’s moral conscience in times of great complexity and risk.
Mr Annan’s career with the United Nations began in 1962 with the World Health Organisation, a United Nations agency. He
later progressed to work in three consecutive positions as assistant Secretary-General including in Peace Keeping
Operations during the Rwandan Genocide.
During his tenure as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Annan was challenged both with conflict,
including the US invasion of Iraq of which Mr Annan was most critical, and administratively as he reformed the United
Nations bureaucracy to better respond to the needs of the International Community. As Mr Nichols remembered, “Mr Annan
made one of the most valuable contributions to the world in one of the most demanding areas at a time of immense
complexity with significant risks.” Mr Annan is also remembered for his work with HIV/AIDS including his issuance of a
five-point Call to Action in April 2001 to address the pandemic and his call to create a Global AIDS and Health Fund.
In retirement, Mr Annan was involved in a number of organisations with global focus including founding and lead the Kofi
Annan Foundation. In 2012, Mr Annan expanded upon his legacy of diplomacy and peace making with his appointment as the
UN Arab League envoy to Syria during which he developed a six-point plan for peace in efforts to end the civil war.
UNA NZ, alongside its members, remembers Mr Annan as an incredible Human Being and thank the Annan family for sharing
him with the rest of humanity.
Mr Nichol’s concluded UNA NZ’s letter to the Annan family with the following whakataukī acknowledging with great respect
a fallen chief:
Ka hinga te tõtara o te wao nui a Tāne
The falling of a great Tõtara tree in the great forest of Tāne.