Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who died in Bern on Saturday, had strong ties to Switzerland.
The international diplomat called Geneva his second home. Annan studied at the Graduate Institute of International Studies from 1961-62 and where he began his UN career at the World Health Organization. It was also where he met his wife, Nane, a Swedish lawyer.
The Ghanian national lived in Geneva from 2006 after the end of his second term as the UN chief. A year later he established the Kofi Annan Foundation in the Swiss city.
With his wife and children by his side in a hospital in the Swiss capital, the 80-year-old passed away peacefully early on Saturday morning after a short illness.
Via Twitter, Swiss president Alain Berset expressed his condolences to Annan's family, calling him a visionary and a great friend of Switzerland. “Today, International Geneva has lost one of its most ardent advocates.”
Pierre Maudet, president of Geneva’s cantonal government, called Annan “a great friend of Geneva and Switzerland”.
And Michael Møller, director-general of the UN European headquarters in Geneva, said he was shocked by how rapidly Annan’s condition had deteriorated. He described Annan’s death an “enormous loss for the world”.