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UN chief mourns Desmond Tutu


UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Sunday mourned the death of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, who died at the age of 90.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, the secretary-general said that he was saddened by Tutu’s death.

He described the archbishop as an unwavering voice for the voiceless.

“Archbishop Tutu was a towering global figure for peace and an inspiration to generations across the world.

“During the darkest days of apartheid, he was a shining beacon for social justice, freedom and non-violent resistance.

“Archbishop Tutu’s relentless determination to build global solidarity for a free and democratic South Africa was fittingly recognised by the Nobel Committee in its decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

“As Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he made an immeasurable contribution to ensuring a peaceful, yet just transition to a democratic South Africa,” Guterres said.

He said that Tutu’s great wisdom and experience were always communicated with humanity, humour and heart.

The UN chief added that Tutu was a steadfast champion of multilateralism and had important roles.

Guterres said that Tutu had important roles as a distinguished member of the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention, and part of High Level Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza in 2008.

According to him, in recent decades, the archbishop continued to fight passionately for action on many critical issues – poverty, climate change, human rights and HIV/AIDS, among others.

“Although Archbishop Tutu’s passing leaves a huge void on the global stage and in our hearts, we will be forever inspired by his example to continue the fight for a better world for all,’’ Guterres said.