Sep 14, 2018 14:21 Asia/Tehran

World leaders, traditional rulers and officials on Thursday Sep. 13 joined the family of Kofi Annan, as the former United Nations secretary general's state funeral took place in his native Ghana.

Iran Press/AfricaKofi Annan’s fellow Ghanaians finally got their moment to bid farewell to the Nobel laureate on Thursday, in an elaborate state funeral for the first black African to ever lead the United Nations.

Related: Former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, dies aged 80

Nearly four weeks after Mr. Annan died suddenly at age 80, thousands gathered in the capital, Accra, a mix of chiefs in traditional dress gathered under ceremonial umbrellas alongside clerics, diplomats, politicians and family members, AP reported.

“My love, you are now back home where you started your long journey,” Nane Annan, Mr. Annan’s widow, told the crowd. She said that her husband had “challenged us all to work for a better world right where we are.”

Over three days of national mourning that ended with his funeral on Thursday, Mr. Annan was remembered for his diplomatic legacy and decades of humanitarian advocacy.

Kofi Annan died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, and his death was announced by his family and the Kofi Annan Foundation, which said he had “passed away peacefully” following a short illness.

In a statement, the foundation said: “Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.

“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”

Mr Annan spent virtually his entire career at the UN, where he served two terms as secretary-general between January 1997 and December 2006.

His tenure was capped by winning the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Mr Annan and the UN in 2001 for “their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

video by AFP

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