Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. Mr Annan died in the early hours of Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, according to a statement issued by his family. The Nobel Peace Laureate was the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006, and became the first black African man to take on the top job as the world’s top diplomat.

The United Nations Migration Agency, the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation confirmed his death in a tweet, saying:

Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary: former @UN Secretary General @KofiAnnan.

A life well lived. A life worth celebrating.

— IOM – UN Migration (@UNmigration) August 18, 2018

Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy

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