UN chief says Thatcher to be remembered as "towering figure"

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Baroness Thatcher will be remembered as a "towering figure" and a "strong and committed leader", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said following the news of the death of the former British prime minister, known as the " Iron Lady."

In a statement released here by his spokesperson, Ban recognized Thatcher's "pioneering stature" as the first female Prime Minister of her country, saying that she "will be remembered as a towering figure and as a strong and committed leader in British political life as well as on the international stage."

Ban offered his "sincere condolences and sympathy" to Thatcher' s family, the government and the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"The Secretary-General also pays tribute to her contribution to addressing climate change, having been one of the first world leaders to issue a warning about its effects by calling for action at the UN General Assembly."

In November 1989, Thatcher addressed the UN General Assembly for the last time in her official capacity as prime minister. She focused her speech on the global environment and the need to preserve air, water and land.

According to her spokesperson, Thatcher suffered a stroke earlier on Monday and died at the age of 87.

Her funeral will be held at St. Paul's Cathedral, with full military honors, followed by a private cremation, the British prime minister's office announced.

Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990, the first woman to hold the post and so far the last. Endi

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