Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan was remembered by Canadian politicians on Saturday as a good friend of Canada and tireless advocate for peace around the globe.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former prime minister Paul Martin have been among the many Canadians who added their voices to the tributes pouring from across the globe following the demise of the Ghanian diplomat.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN chief died early Saturday on the age of 80 following a brief sickness, the Kofi Annan Basis introduced.
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Martin, whose tenure as prime minister overlapped with Annan’s as secretary-general, described his good friend as “one of many greats.”
“He had a really broad imaginative and prescient which enveloped everyone, and he was all the time trying forward,” he advised The Canadian Press.
“He was a kind of few individuals who have been in a position to perceive it wasn’t simply the wealthy and highly effective nations that counted … that the wealthy and highly effective nations have been going to be very dependent, in the end, on the poorer nations doing properly.”
Martin, who labored with Annan on a number of events, mentioned he believed the previous UN head could be remembered most for his dedication to multilateral establishments in an age of globalization.
“In right this moment’s age, when most of the world’s leaders appear to suppose the nationwide curiosity can prevail towards the worldwide curiosity, that was definitely not his view, it could not have been his view and he expressed it unequivocally,” he mentioned.
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Martin mentioned his strongest reminiscence of his good friend was a telephone dialog the 2 had after he retired from politics, when Annan referred to as to ask him co-chair a physique that handled the way forward for the African Improvement Financial institution.
Their lengthy dialog was, as ordinary, “in regards to the world, and the way all of us match into it,” he mentioned.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau additionally expressed his condolences on social media, saying Annan made the world a greater place.
“Kofi Annan didn’t simply discuss constructing a extra simply and peaceable world, he devoted his life to doing it – and the world is a greater place due to him,” Trudeau mentioned on his official Twitter account.
“It’s now as much as all of us to hold his work ahead.”
Former governor basic Michaelle Jean additionally expressed her respect for Annan, who she referred to as a “tireless peacemaker.”
“From my good friend #KofiAnnan, who noticed the world fall into horror, I retain this confession, his dilemma: ‘How can the (United Nations) defend its raison d’etre if it fails to face up within the defence of human rights above all?”‘ she wrote in French on her official Twitter account.
Martin mentioned Annan had an amazing love and affection for Canada that was clear each time he visited.
“He cherished Canada, he did go to Canada many occasions, and was all the time open to discussing points, whether or not he was right here or in New York, and he didn’t cover his affection for Canada,” Martin mentioned. “It was evident all the time.”
A type of visits occurred in early 2004, when Annan praised the nation’s bilingual and multicultural character in an deal with to Parliament.
“All through the years, Canada has been a pillar of assist for the United Nations,” reads a textual content of Annan’s speech on the United Nations web site.
“Certainly, it’s laborious to think about the United Nations with out Canada and, I’d even say, it has grow to be laborious to think about Canada with out the United Nations.”
A newer go to got here in 2016, when he attended the One Younger World summit in Ottawa.
There, he confirmed a lighter aspect of his persona by joking a couple of time when he thought he had been acknowledged by followers whereas on trip, solely to comprehend he’d been mistaken for actor Morgan Freeman.
He later moved on to extra critical subjects, telling the younger attendees in a panel dialogue that all of them had an element to play in countering the rise of radical extremism, even by easy actions resembling standing as much as bullies or denouncing injustice.
“Now we have to have the braveness to talk up and never enable a small group to intimidate a complete nation, or hijack a complete faith, and permit them to get away with it due to silence,” he mentioned.
Many present and former world leaders, together with former U.S. president Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister Theresa Could, have additionally responded publicly to Annan’s demise.