On June 4, the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued the following statement on the death of UN “Messenger of Peace”, Muhammad Ali:
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Muhammad Ali. He extends his condolences to the Ali family, and the many millions of fans mourning his death in every corner of the world.”
Muhammad Ali, known for having a flair for words, was famous for the saying, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” gained worldwide recognition for his many victories as a boxer. his stand as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and service to everyday people. At the age of 42, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and his life came to a close at the age of 74.
According to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
“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 “
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, and recalled Muhammed Ali’s strength, humour, and ability to bring people together. In his closing remarks, Ban Ki-moon said that
“the United Nations is grateful to have benefited from the life and work of one of the past century’s great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace. “