UNITED NATIONS March 20 : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday mourned the death of Nepal's former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, saying it was a "huge loss."
"Mr. Koirala's death is a huge loss for Nepal and its ongoing peace process. As a friend of the United Nations and a staunch believer in its ideals and principles, Mr. Koirala will be remembered as a strong voice of multilateralism and global cooperation," a statement from Ban's office said.
Koirala, who died Saturday aged 85 after suffering from respiratory disease for many years, brokered Nepal's peace agreement and led a protest movement that forced autocratic former king Gyanendra from power.
Ban said Koirala "fought fearlessly and at considerable personal sacrifice for justice and democratic rights in his country."
He said he was grateful for "Koirala's unwavering support to the United Nations for its role in the peace process as well as its development, and human rights work in Nepal."
In Kathmandu, thousands of people gathered outside the home of Koirala's daughter to pay their respects.