Biography of Kofi AnnanGeneral Knowledge »
Biography of Kofi Annan – Secretary General of the United Nations
Kofi Annan was famous as Secretary General of the United Nations. Kofi Annan was born on 08 April 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana.
Kofi Annan Works and Achievements was Nobel peace Prize ( 2001 ) and his nationality was Ghana.
Kofi Annan is a former diplomat of Ghana and was the seventh Secretary – General of the United Nations serving from 1997 to 2006. As Secretary – General Kofi Annan played a leading role in galvanizing global action through the General Assembly and the Security Council to combat terrorism and other political crisis especially in the Africa and Middle East.
In 2001, Kofi Annan issued the “call to nation”, in order to address the world spread pandemic HIV / AIDS, and put forward the establishment of a Global AIDS and health Fund. In 2002, a little controversy erupted after his term as Secretary General was renewed by the UNSC.
In 2004, Kofi Annan publicly stated that invasion of Iraq by the US and Britain sponsored coalition forces was illegal. Kofi Annan was honored with numerous honorary doctorates and was also a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 with United Nations.
Kofi Annan Childhood
Kofi Annan was born on April 8, 1938 to Victoria and Henry Reginald in Kumasi, central Ghana, in Africa. His name indicates his birthday and place in his family. Kofi means a boy born on a Friday, and Annan denotes that he was the fourth child of his family. Annan is descended from tribal chiefs on both sides of his family and they were a part of the country’s elite.
Kofi Annan’s father Henry Reginald was a well – educated person and worked for a long period as an export manager for the Lever Brothers cocoa company. Since childhood, Kofi Annan became accustomed to both traditional and modern ways of life.
After receiving his early education at a leading boarding school in Ghana, Kofi Annan attended the elite Mfantsipim School, a Methodist boarding school in Cape Coast. In 1957, Kofi Annan graduated from Mfantsipim and the same year Ghana gained independence from Britain. It became the first African nation to gain independence from European colonists. Since 1960 Ghana has been a republic within the British Commonwealth.
Shortly after completing his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in 1961, Kofi Annan headed for Geneva, Switzerland. There, Kofi Annan completed his degree in International Relations at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales.
As a 1971 – 1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Annan received a Master of Science degree in management. Kofi Annan has a very good command over English, French, Kru, Akan, and other African languages.
Kofi Annan Association with the United Nations
In 1962, Kofi Annan joined the staff of the World Health Organization as a Budget Officer. In 1974 Kofi Annan left the job and for a brief period served as managing director of the Ghana Tourist Development Company. After spending two years at the tourism company, Kofi Annan returned to international diplomacy and re – joined the United Nations in 1976.
In 1983, Kofi Annan was posted to the UN Headquarters at New York. There, he held many senior positions and ranks.
Kofi Annan was appointed Assistant Secretary – General in Human Resources Management and Security Coordinator (1987 – 1990), Assistant Secretary – General Program Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller (1990 – 1992) and Assistant Secretary – General Peacekeeping Operations (March 1993 February 1994).
Kofi Annan was Under – Secretary – General for Peacekeeping at a time when nearly 70,000 military and civilian personnel were deployed in UN operations around the world. From 1976 to 1983, Kofi Annan worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
During the Gulf War in 1990, Kofi Annan facilitated the repatriation of international staff and citizens of Western countries from Iraq after it invaded Kuwait. Kofi Annan subsequently led initial negotiations with Baghdad on the sale of oil to fund humanitarian relief.
From November 1995 to March 1996, Kofi Annan served as the Secretary – General’s Special Representative to the former Yugoslavia serving for five months in that capacity before returning to his duties as Under – Secretary – General in April 1996.
Kofi Annan Head of the United Nations
On 13 December 1996, the United Nations Security Council ( UNSC ) urged Kofi Annan to replace previous Secretary – General, Boutros Boutros – Ghali of Egypt. Kofi Annan’s first term as Secretary – General commenced on 1 January 1997.
Earlier, the United States placed a veto on Ghali’s second term. Kofi Annan used his office in settling several delicate political situations including resolving the stalemate between Libya and the Security Council in 1999 and to forge an international response to violence in East Timor.
Kofi Annan was responsible for certifying Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and in 2006, his efforts contributed to securing a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah. Also in 2006, Kofi Annan mediated a settlement of the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula through implementation of the judgement of the International Court of Justice.
Kofi Annan’s Secretary – Generalship was renewed on January 1, 2002. In an interview to a private news channel, in 2004, Kofi Annan said that United Nations had urged both the United States and United Kingdom not to invade Iraq without the support of the United Nations. Therefore, “from the point of view of United Nation’s Charter the invasion and occupation was indeed, illegal”.
While treating the Darfur crisis, Kofi Annan favored sending a UN peacekeeping mission force by, replacing the present African Union peacekeeping mission. It was also at Kofi Annan’s urging that, in 2005, Member States established two new intergovernmental bodies, the Peace building Commission and the Human Rights Council.
On 21 March 2005, Kofi Annan tabled a progress report, “In Larger Freedom”, in the UN General Assembly. Kofi Annan, talked about a number of reforms for the United Nations, specifically stressing on the expansion of Security Council.
Kofi Annan Marriage
Kofi Annan is married to Nane Annan, of Sweden, a lawyer and painter who has a great interest in understanding the work of the United Nations in the field. Two issues of particular concern to her are HIV / AIDS and education for women. She has also written a book for children about the United Nations. The Annans have three children.
Kofi Annan Post United Nations Term
Kofi Annan, even after his retirement from the United Nations on 19 September 2006, has been in touch with several global organizations that focus in establishing peace and democracy in the war – hit regions.
In 2007, Kofi Annan was chosen to lead the new formation of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and appointed as the President of the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva.
Kofi Annan currently serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes. In 2008, Kofi Annan was appointed the Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
Kofi Annan Awards
For Kofi Annan’s contribution as a regular staff of the United Nations Kofi Annan was honored by numerous organizations across the globe. Besides the honorary doctorates, Annan received the following awards :
- Liberty Medal International Selection Commission, Liberty Medal, 4 July 2001.
- Nobel Foundation, The Nobel Peace Prize, jointly presented to Kofi Annan and the United Nations, 2001.
- 2002 winner of the “Profiles in Courage Award,” given by the JFK Memorial Museum.
- Grand Collar of the Order of Liberty (Portugal), 11 October, 2005.
- Order of the Netherlands Lion, Knight Grand Cross, 2006.
- University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Max Schmidheiny Foundation Freedom Prize (originally awarded 2003, but postponed due to Annan’s illness), 18 November 2006.
- Princeton University, Crystal Tiger Award, 28 November 2006.
- Inter Press Service, International Achievement Award for Annan’s lasting contributions to peace, security, and development, 19 December 2006.
- Olof Palme Prize, 2006.
- Honorary Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II (GCMG), 2007.
- MacArthur Foundation, MacArthur Award for International Justice.
- Peace of Westphalia Prize 2008.
Ex – General of Canada, Romeo Dallaire, who was heading the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, claimed that Kofi Annan was overly inactive in his response to the initial stage of genocide. He said that Annan not only held back the UN troops from intervening to resolve the conflict but also did not provide the required logistical and material support.
Questions were raised again in 2002 when the United Nations Security Council renewed Kofi Annan’s Secretary – Generalship on January 1, 2002. It was an unusual policy as the “chair” usually rotates around the continents, with two terms each. And, since Annan’s predecessor Ghali was also an African, normally Annan would have served only one term.
Kofi Annan Timeline
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