IFES Statement on the Passing of Kofi Annan
The Board of Directors and staff of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) mourn the passing of Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations (UN), chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation and Nobel Peace Laureate, on August 18, 2018, at the age of 80.
During his tenure at the UN, Annan championed the promotion of peace, democracy and the rule of law. As chair of The Elders, a group of global elders formed by Nelson Mandela and dedicated to the cause of human rights, he tackled some of the world's most pressing problems, such as poverty.
At the Kofi Annan Foundation, he mobilized political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights. IFES is honored to work alongside the Kofi Annan Foundation on efforts to support democracy and electoral integrity.
"Kofi Annan pursued the mission of peace and saving lives. He used his moral authority and stature to convene all sides in military and political conflicts in pursuit of peaceful resolutions. He was a strong voice against the cancer of corruption in public life. The world lost a peacemaker," said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney, who is a member of the Advisory Board of the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Advisory Council of the Electoral Integrity Initiative.
"Kofi Annan was a true drum major for justice. He was willing to take a risk if it meant advancing the cause of human rights. He will be missed but he will have left his footprint in the forward movement of history,” said IFES Board Chairman Ken Blackwell, who served with Annan at the UN.