IDRC mourns the passing of Kofi Annan

August 24, 2018

IDRC mourns the passing of Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) and Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose legacy is built on a lifelong commitment to diplomacy, governance, globalism, and human rights.

Annan passed away in Switzerland on August 18, 2018, at the age of 80.

Among his  many achievements during  his two terms as UN secretary-general, Annan was an architect of the Millennium Development Goals and played a prominent role in the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

After leaving the UN’s top post, Annan created the Kofi Annan Foundation and served as its Chair, allowing him to continue to advocate for and support critical global issues, including good governance.

During a trip to Ottawa in 2004, Annan visited IDRC’s head office to participate in a meeting with Canadian government and civil society representatives to discuss development and humanitarian issues. IDRC was privileged to collaborate with Annan in advancing research for development in Africa, specifically through his capacity as Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and its focus on food security and improving the incomes and livelihoods of smallholder farmers across Africa.

“Shortly after Kofi Annan stepped down as AGRA’s chair in 2014, I had the occasion to meet him in Addis Ababa at the African Green Revolution Forum,” IDRC President Jean Lebel said. “He spoke eloquently on the need to keep agriculture at the top of national development agendas. IDRC remains committed to his vision and to the Sustainable Development Goals.”