Prime Minister Mia Mottley says the world has lost a skilled international statesman, Ghana has lost a son of its soil, and Barbados has lost a friend, with the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan this morning.
“Kofi Annan’s legacy will forever live in the history of the world. Barbados will always remember this great statesman for his dignity, his vision and his support to our national development efforts,” Prime Minister Mottley said in tribute.
In a release from the Government Information Service this evening, Mottley said she was deeply sadden to learn of the 80-year-old’s death.
She reflected on his January 2002 visit to Barbados in the capacity of Secretary General of the United Nations in order to open the UN House here.
“In commending Barbados for its achievements and its profile in the international arena, Secretary General Annan said that Barbados ‘punches above its weight’. This phrase quickly became an iconic description of Barbados’ state of development and our role in international politics. This was a status that we enjoyed for many years in the past, and which my Government is working assiduously to re-instate for the benefit of the country and the people. Today, to say that Barbados ‘punches above its weight’ is a call to action,” the Prime Minister stated.
Mottley said during Annan’s “historic stewardship” of the United Nations he “redefined, revitalized and brought a measure of reform” to that premier multilateral organization.
“His achievements were many, but of particular significance and relevance to Barbados was his work on building an international development agenda. Annan’s insightful work in this area was far-reaching.
“The foundation laid by the Millennium Development Goals has brought the world to a point today where we have the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Development Agenda. Barbados accords highest priority to these development objectives and the resulting collaboration with our development partners,” she said.
“On behalf of the Government and people of the Barbados, I extend deepest condolences to Mr Annan’s wife, his children and his other family members,” Mottley added.