Ban 'deeply saddened' by passing of Muhammad Ali, 'world champion for equality and peace'

Muhammad Ali (centre), UN Messengers of Peace and former three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer, at a 2004 ceremony to mark the International Day of Peace at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Ky Chung

4 June 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Muhammad Ali, and extended his condolences to the Ali family and the many millions of fans mourning his death in every corner of the world.

“Mr. Ali was far more than a legendary boxer; he was a world champion for equality and peace. With an incomparable combination of principle, charm, wit and grace, he fought for a better world and used his platform to help lift up humanity,” Mr. Ban highlighted in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998, Mr. Ali travelled the globe to support children and others caught up in conflict, and to promote reconciliation between people and nations. Well before taking on this role, he came to the United Nations in the 1970s to campaign against apartheid and racial injustice.

“The Secretary-General was honored to join Mr. Ali as a flag bearer at the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. He recalls Mr. Ali's strength, humour and ability to bring people together,” the statement indicated, adding that the United Nations is grateful to have benefitted from the life and work “of one of the past century's great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace.”


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