October 15, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has received the International Olympic Committee's highest award.

Annan was presented with the Olympic Order in Gold on Thursday by IOC President Thomas Bach.

Annan was announced as a recipient of the order in 2007 but was unable to attend an award ceremony until now.

He said during the presentation that ''the Olympic spirit is something that has been with me for a long time.''

Annan, who served as U.N. secretary-general from 1997-2006, attended several Olympics during that time.

Bach thanked Annan for his ''many years of service to sport and for championing the unifying power of sport through the Kofi Annan Foundation.''

The IOC has enjoyed U.N. observer status since 2009. The U.N. traditionally passes a resolution calling for the observance of an ''Olympic Truce'' before each games.

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