“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.”
His son, Kojo, said his father had dedicated his life to the ideals of unity, equality, love, peace and respect.
“The greatest tribute we could ever pay is to follow his example,” he added to conclude a three-hour ceremony of tributes, prayer and song.
Kofi Annan is survived by his wife Nane Maria, his children Kojo Annan , Ann Annan and grandchildren.
Annan led the UN from 1997 to 2006 and was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to do so. He died on August 18 aged 80 at his home in Switzerland after a short illness.
Those attending include;
The current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Princess Beatrix, the former queen of the Netherlands, and her daughter-in-law Princess Mabel, who were close friends of Annan.
The presidents of Ivory Coast, Liberia, Namibia, Ethiopia, Niger and Zimbabwe were among the African leaders attending Thursday’s ceremony, which marks the end of three days of mourning declared in Ghana.
Former heads of state from Germany to Mauritius were and Kenya’s supreme leader H E Dr Raila Odinga also attended the funeral.
Ordinary Ghanaians and dignitaries have paid their respects to Annan since his coffin was returned from Geneva and received with full honours on Monday.
Thousands of people have filed past the coffin, which was draped in the red, green and gold national flag and guarded by the military in ceremonial uniform.
Mourners watched the funeral ceremony on a screen at the Accra International Conference Cent
One mourner, Fritz Kitcher, who spent his career working in human rights for the UN in Geneva, said he had seen Annan rise through the ranks.
Annan had taught him “the benefit of humility, the benefit of honesty, the benefit of decisiveness, and diplomacy from the grassroots,” he told AFP.
Others described Annan as a father-figure and a source of national pride.
– ‘Diplomatic rock star’ –
Born in Kumasi, the capital of Ghana’s Ashanti region, Annan devoted four decades of his working life to the UN, and was known for bringing quiet charisma to the role.
He was widely credited for raising the world body’s profile in global politics during his two terms in office, facing challenges including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He left the post as one of the most popular — and recognisable — UN leaders ever, and was considered a “diplomatic rock star” in international circles.
He kept up his diplomatic work, taking mediation roles in Kenya and Syria, and more recently heading an advisory commission in Myanmar on the crisis in Rakhine state.
He acted as a negotiator between the government and the opposition in Kenya after post-election violence at the end of 2007, leading to the formation of the Grand Coalition government.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo called the funeral “a major event for our country” and described Annan as “one of the most illustrious people of this generation”.