Obama mourns passing of Kofi Annan: He 'never stopped his pursuit of a better world'

Obama mourns passing of Kofi Annan: He 'never stopped his pursuit of a better world'
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Former President Obama mourned the death of former United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Saturday, saying that the diplomat “never stopped his pursuit of a better world.”

Obama said in a statement that Annan “embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others.”

“His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations. Long after he had broken barriers, Kofi never stopped his pursuit of a better world, and made time to motivate and inspire the next generation of leaders,” Obama said.

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Annan, 80, died Saturday after a short illness, according to his family and foundation.

The longtime U.N. diplomat was the first black African to serve as secretary-general and was lauded for his humanitarian efforts. Annan and the U.N. were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

Other world leaders have also honored Annan’s life following his passing.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Annan led the U.N. “into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Annan “dedicated his life” to creating a more just and peaceful world, and that “the world is a better place because of him.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi honored the diplomat as “a conscience keeper of international peace and security,” and British Prime Minister Theresa May said Annan “made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into.”