Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, praising his “strong leadership and statesmanship” and describing him as “a legendary figure in Asia,” according to a United Nations spokesperson.
“During his three decades in office, he helped Singapore to transition from a developing country to one of the most developed in the world, transforming it into a thriving international business hub,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement released on Sunday.
“As Singapore marks its 50th anniversary of independence this year, its founding father will be remembered as one of the most inspiring Asian leaders.”
Mr. Ban offered his condolences to the family of the former Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Singapore and voiced his gratitude “for the strong cooperation between the Government of Singapore and the United Nations.”
In a separate statement, the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, said the former Prime Minister’s passing was “a great loss for Singapore.”
“Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew will be remembered as a remarkable man of peace who transformed his country from third to first world status,” said the statement, adding that he had left “a memorable impact on world affairs.”
“On behalf of all Member States and on his own behalf, the President of the General Assembly expresses his heartfelt condolences to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s bereaved family and to the people and Government of Singapore.”