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Kofi Annan
Ghanaian diplomat, 7th secretary-general of the United Nations, and winner of 2001 Nobel Peace Prize
(born 1938)


Kofi Annan (image)

Kofi Annan

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Kofi Annan (born 1938) is a diplomat from Ghan who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006.

Along with the United Nations, Annan received the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, partly based on his founding of the Global AIDS and Health Fund.

After his retirement, he returned to Ghana and turned his attention to solving problems on the African continent.


You can do a lot with diplomacy, but of course you can do a lot more with diplomacy backed up by fairness and force.
-- Kofi Annan on the February 1998 weapons inspections agreement with Iraq (quoted in: Mail on Sunday, 1 March 1998)

I am a cheerleader, I am a promoter, I am a salesman, I am a debt collector, I am a father confessor and there are other aspects I still have to discover.
-- Kofi Annan, on his first 13 months as secretary-general of the UN, in: Time, 9 March 1998

The peace we seek in Iraq, as elsewhere, is one that reflects the lessons of our terrible century: that peace is not true or lasting if it is bought at any price; that only peace with justice can honour the victims of war and violence; and that, without democracy, tolerance and human rights for all, no peace is truly safe.
-- Kofi Annan, speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, New York, January 1999

We cannot wait for governments to do it all. Globalization operates on Internet time. Governments tend to be slow moving by nature.
-- Kofi Annan

We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world's people share the benefits of globalization.
-- Kofi Annan

We have to choose between a global market driven only by calculations of short-term profit, and one which has a human face.
-- Kofi Annan

From this vision of the role of the United Nations in the next century flow three key priorities for the future: eradicating poverty, preventing conflict and promoting democracy.
-- Kofi Annan





In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda.
-- Kofi Annan

Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations.
-- Kofi Annan

There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole - women and men alike - than the one which involves women as central players.
-- Kofi Annan

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.
-- Kofi Annan


Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of WarKofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War "Annan rose from humble beginnings as a schoolboy in Ghana to world statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner. He ran afoul of the Bush administration with his resistance to the war in Iraq, and his image has been tarnished by allegations of corruption by his son. Meisler, author of United Nations: The First Fifty Years (1995), chronicles the changing fortunes of the UN as he recounts Annan's rise in the organization and the inside politics that led him to the secretary-general post. Annan, who began his career with the UN in 1962, working his way up through mundane jobs in personnel and budgeting, had his first assignment as a peacekeeper in Egypt in 1972. Annan was involved in some of the greatest achievements and failures of the UN in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Readers interested in international affairs will appreciate this absorbing account of the rise of one man and the changing image and influence of the UN, particularly as its impact on world affairs broadens." -- Vanessa Bush





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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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