UN chief calls Muhammad Ali a ‘world champion for equality and peace’

UN chief slams deadly terrorist attacks in Istanbul

UNITED NATIONS, June 4 (APP): United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki moon Saturday mourned the passing away of Muhammad Ali, saying he was “far more than a legendary boxer; he was a world champion for equality and peace.”

“The Secretary General is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Muhammad Ali,” a statement issued by his spokesman said. “He extends his condolences to the Ali family and the many millions of fans mourning his death in every corner of the world.”

“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,” Ban added.

Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998, 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,” the statement said. “He recalls Mr. Ali’s strength, humour and ability to bring people together.

“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.”