It was with deep sadness that I learnt this morning of the passing of my old friend and inspiration, Kofi Annan. On behalf of myself and the European Commission, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to his wife Nane and his entire family.
Today, the world mourns a great leader and humanitarian but celebrates a life full of courage, empathy and remarkable public service. He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful and united place. He fought to end suffering and injustices across the world and helped to rebuild bridges where they had been destroyed. I am honoured to have seen this first-hand on many occasions throughout the many years we worked together.
His achievements as UN Secretary-General were rightly recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize and many other accolades throughout his life. But the greatest recognition we can give Kofi Annan is to keep his legacy and his spirit alive. It has never been more important than in today's world.