Legendary Kofi Annan-Bringing the United Nations Closer to People

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 10JUN2009 - Kofi Anann, Secretary-General, United Nations (1997 - 2006); Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on Africa, at the Opening Plenary on Africa and the New Global Economy held During the World Economic Forum on Africa 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa, June 10, 2009 Copyright World Economic Forum www.weforum.org / Eric Miller emiller@iafrica.com

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 2009 – Kofi Anann.

An overview look may suggest that UN has lost its battles; one after another, against the main humanity enemies: But, for a second thought, UN succeeded in them all, but our enemies are growing more aggressive, while the responsible world powers are not responding enough to their duties. So, along its career, UN needed legends to fight for human rights and humanity. It needed legends to spread their wings high, seeking horizons of hope, whether they are in offices or not, and Kofi A. Annan (1938-2018) of Ghana, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, was one of those legends.

Kofi Annan was the first to be elected from the ranks of UN staff, serving for two terms, 1997 and 2002. As a Secretary-General, Mr. Annan had given priority to revitalizing the UN through a comprehensive program of reform; strengthening the Organization’s traditional work in the areas of development and the maintenance of international peace and security; advocating human rights, the rule of law and the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity; restoring public confidence in the Organization by reaching out to new partners and, in his words, by “bringing the United Nations closer to the people”. The Secretary-General has also taken a leading role in mobilizing the international community in the battle against HIV/AIDS, and more recently against the global terrorist threat.

Since the terrorist attacks hit the United States on 11 September 2001, the Secretary-General has played a leading role in galvanizing global action through the General Assembly and the Security Council to combat terrorism. The Secretary General has received honorary degrees from universities in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, as well as a number of other prizes and awards for his contributions to the aims and purposes of the United Nations. In his statement, António Guterres UN Secretary General said: “Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter.

His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us”. For Africans, Kofi Annan has been a source of pride, and his name has been added to the List of Honor, like other African icons; Nelson Mandela, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Kwame Nkrumah. They are all symbols of leader who worked for the liberty of the world.


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