Interventions: A Life in War and Peace
With over four decades of service at the United Nations, including a decade as Secretary-General, Annan has been at the forefront of recent history’s most significant events and conflicts. His work on behalf of the global community spans years, countries, and continents, giving him an unrivaled perspective on geopolitics and the future of the global community. In this moving speech based on his new memoir, Kofi Annan candidly discusses his remarkable years at the center of the world stage and the lessons they have taught him.
Building Strong Nations: The Three Pillars To A Prosperous Society
Drawing on his experiences as a diplomat who has worked for decades to strengthen international cooperation and global welfare, Secretary-General Annan discusses the three pillars that are key to developing healthy and prosperous societies. In this powerful speech, Annan sheds light on global social and economic issues, and offers wisdom to inspire stronger nations—and a healthier global community.
The Global Compact: Challenging Businesses to Become Leaders in Sustainable Development
Secretary-General Annan has been championing the importance of economic, social and environmental sustainability throughout his career and continues to inspire audiences around the world to do the same. In this speech, the Secretary-General reiterates the responsibility of businesses and individuals to address environmental challenges; undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; protect human rights; and encourage the development and transfer of environmentally-sustainable technologies.
The Five Rules of International Diplomacy
In a rousing call for multilateralism and a renewed faith in the global approach, Secretary-General Annan shares five key lessons gleaned from his lifelong career at the United Nations.
Africa’s Third Wave: Looking Back, Moving Forward
A decade after declaring the dawn of a Third Wave in Africa, Secretary-General Annan reflects on the progress made and the challenges that remain. Where has the promised development, stability, and respect for human rights been achieved, and where is it still lacking? How can the continent cope with the crisis of HIV/AIDS, and is there hope for the future?
Changes at the United Nations
In his time at the helm of the United Nations, Mr. Annan worked to reform the institution, recognizing a need for a top-down reorganization. In this address, the former Secretary-General discusses the role of the United Nations, and how it can adapt to meet the needs of shifting geopolitical landscape.
A Conscientious Leader
Kofi Annan first joined the staff of the United Nations in 1962, when he went to work at the World Health Organization in Geneva. That path led him to leadership positions in a range of departments at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as special assignments abroad, especially in global hotspots. When he was elected as Secretary-General, Mr. Annan became the first Secretary-General to be selected from the organization’s staff. One of Kofi Annan’s main priorities as Secretary-General was a comprehensive program of reform aimed at revitalizing the United Nations and making the international system more effective. He was a constant advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa and sought to bring the organization closer to the global public by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners. At Mr. Annan’s initiative, UN peacekeeping was strengthened in ways that enabled the United Nations to cope with a rapid rise in the number of operations and personnel. It was also at Mr. Annan’s urging that, in 2005, Member States established two new intergovernmental bodies: the Peace building Commission and the Human Rights Council. Mr. Annan likewise played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by Member States of the "responsibility to protect" people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. His "Global Compact" initiative, launched in 1999, has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility. In 2001, Mr. Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the citation praising his leadership for "bringing new life to the organization."
A Lifelong Diplomat
Since leaving the United Nations, Mr. Annan has continued to work for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, with a strong emphasis on Africa. Through the Kofi Annan Foundation, he remains active in mediation and conflict resolution activities, and is a strong advocate for good governance, the rule of law and human rights. In early 2008, Mr. Annan led the African Union’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities which negotiated a peaceful resolution to Kenya’s political crisis following disputed elections in 2007. Mr. Annan is also Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Africa Progress Panel (APP), and an active member of The Elders. He is also a Board member, Patron and Fellow of a number of organizations and universities.