Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General, Dies at 80 (Download PDF)


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Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General passed away after a short illness. He was 80. Kofi Annan Foundation described him as “global statesman & deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for fairer & more peaceful world”.

Image of Kofi Atta Annan

Image of Kofi Atta Annan

Image of Kofi Atta Annan

He was born on 8th April 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana. Ghana has declared a week of national mourning.

Kofi Annan & UN

  • Kofi Annan 1st joined UN in 1962 as administrative & budget officer w/WHO in Geneva.

  • He served w/Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, UN Emergency Force (UNEF II) in Ismailia, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.

  • He served as Special Representative of Secretary-General to former Yugoslavia (1995 - 1996) & facilitated repatriation from Iraq of more than 900 international staff & other non-Iraqi nationals in 1990.

  • He served as head of UN peacekeeping operations from 1993 to 1997.

  • In 1997, Annan became 1st African to take up role of Secretary General at United Nations. He served 2 terms as chief of United Nations, from 1997 to 2006. He was 7th UN secretary general.

  • He was 1st Secretary-General to be appointed from w/I organization’s ranks.

Image of UN Secretary - generals

Image of UN Secretary - Generals

Image of UN Secretary - generals

Key Details

  • He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for helping to revitalise UN, during period that coincided w/Iraq War & HIV/Aids pandemic.

  • In 2007, he set up his own foundation ‘Kofi Annan Foundation’ aimed at promoting global sustainable development, security & peace.

  • In 2016, Annan was appointed to lead UN commission to investigate Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis.

Kofi Annan’s Key Initiatives

  • Annan pushed for reforms to rebuild UN & make it more effective.

  • In March 2000, he appointed Panel on UN Peace Operations to assess shortcomings of then existing system & to make specific & realistic recommendations for change.

  • The report it produced came to be known as Brahimi Report, named after panel’s chair Lakhdar Brahimi.

  • In 2000, Annan issued report entitled “We the peoples: role of UN in 21st century”.

  • W/I “We the Peoples” document, Annan suggested establishment of UN Information Technology Service (UNITeS), group of high-tech volunteer corps.

  • In April 2001, Annan issued 5-point “Call to Action” to address HIV/AIDS pandemic.

- Published/Last Modified on: January 5, 2019

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