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International diplomat UN flag in Geneva at half-mast for Kofi Annan

UN building in Geneva

The flags of UN member countries were removed to pay respect to Annan.

(© KEYSTONE / SALVATORE DI NOLFI)

The United Nations flag at the organisation’s European headquarters in Geneva was lowered to half-mast on Sunday to mark the death of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. 

In addition, all the flags of UN member countries were removed leaving only the UN flag flying at half-mast. The funeral ceremony for the Ghanian national, who died in the Swiss capital of Bern on Saturday, will be a private affair. A commemoration ceremony will be held at the Palais des Nations at a date that will be announced in due course, according to Alan Doss, director of the Geneva-based Kofi Annan Foundation. 

Annan passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning after a short illness. His wife and children were by his side. The 80-year-old was admitted to a hospital in the Swiss capital of Bern where he died.  

The international diplomat had strong ties to Switzerland, in particular Geneva. He 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 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner 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. 



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