UN in Lebanon pays tribute to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

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05 September 2018
UN in Lebanon pays tribute to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
For three days, government officials, representatives of diplomatic missions, and UN staff in Lebanon paid tribute to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan by signing two Books of Condolences in his memory at the UN House in Beirut (29-30 August) and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Headquarters in Naqoura (28-30 August). The condolences events were organized by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Lebanon, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Beirut, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and UNIFIL.

Calling Annan “an exceptional figure whose contribution to the UN and to peace endeavors will always be remembered,” UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCWA Mr. Ali Al-Hakim recalled when Mr. Annan, as Secretary-General in 1999, inaugurated the UN House in Beirut, “a special moment that is still fondly remembered by all.” Signing the Book of Condolences at the UN House, Al-Hakim said that the world will be “forever marked by [Annan’s] commitment and courage.” “We will continue to pursue his vision and embrace his hope in humanity,” Al-Hakim concluded.

Acting United Nations Special Coordinator Pernille Dahler Kardel, Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Lebanon, signed the Book at the UN House. “Kofi Annan invested his life in the struggle for peace. He was always an inspiration,” Ms. Kardel said. “I remember so vividly at some point a few years back when asked about his most important advice to young mediators, his answer was that in order to thoroughly be prepared for the role of mediator, you need to fully understand and comprehend the deepest fears among the parties to a conflict. Simple and yet so difficult. His wisdom and skills resounded and will be missed,” she added.

UNIFIL also posted on 29 August – exactly 12-years to the date – social media messages highlighting Kofi Annan’s visit to south Lebanon to meet with Peacekeepers following the July War with a message urging all parties to maintain the cessation of hostilities.