Kofi Annan Biography | Inspiration Quotations | Motivation Quotes

Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan Biography:

Kofi Annan Biography- Kofi Atta Annan was born on 8 April 1938 in the Kofandros section of Kumasi in the Gold Coast (now Ghana).  Kofi Annan was the seventh secretary general of the United Nations (UN) from January 1997 to December 2006. He is the first person to be elected from the ranks of UN staff itself. In 2001, Kofi Annan received/shared the Nobel Prize for peace along with the United Nations. He is the chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

Kofi Annan earned bachelor’s degree in economics at Macalester College and he received a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1962, he began his career in UN as a budget officer for the World Health Organization in Geneva. Between March 1992 and December 1996, he was appointed to serve as an assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping. On 13 December 1996, Security Council and General Assembly appointed Kofi Atta Annan as secretary general of the United Nations. In 2001, he was re-elected for a second term. As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy, worked  against HIV, especially in Africa and launched the UN Global Compact. In 2007, after leaving the UN, Annan founded the Kofi Annan Foundation to work on international development. 

Kofi Annan was appointed as the joint U.N.-Arab League special agent for Syria in February 2012, in an attempt to deal with the ongoing conflicts there. In August 2012, he resigned owing to lack of any progress due to intransigence on the part of all the concerned parties. Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission in September 2016, to investigate the Rohingya crisis.

Kofi Annan married Titi Alakija in 1965; they had 2 children, a daughter, Ama, and later a son, Kojo. The couple separated in the late 1970s and divorced in 1983. Later in 1984, Annan again married Nane Maria Lagergren.      

Kofi Annan Motivational Quotations:

  • “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”

  • “More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.”

  • “It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”

  • Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

  • Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

  • “On climate change, we often don't fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen.”

  • “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

  • “In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda.”

  • “We cannot wait for governments to do it all. Globalization operates on Internet time. Governments tend to be slow moving by nature, because they have to build political support for every step.”​

    Kofi Annan

  • “Unfortunately, very few governments think about youth unemployment when they are drawing up their national plans.”

  • “If we can come up with innovations and train young people to take on new jobs, and if we can switch to clean energy, I think we have the capacity to build this world not dependent on fossil-fuel. I think it will happen, and it won't destroy economy.”

  • “We need to keep hope alive and strive to do better.”

  • “In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.”

  • “I urge the Iraqi leadership for sake of its own people... to seize this opportunity and thereby begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people.”

  • “The United Nations, whose membership comprises almost all the states in the world, is founded on the principle of the equal worth of every human being.”

  • “Open markets offer the only realistic hope of pulling billions of people in developing countries out of abject poverty, while sustaining prosperity in the industrialized world.”

  • “We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children.”

  • “If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom.”

  • “If information and knowledge are central to democracy, they are conditions for development.”

  • “When economic conditions are difficult, people tend to be less generous and protect themselves; the question of solidarity doesn't mean much to them at that time.”

  • “Business, labor and civil society organizations have skills and resources that are vital in helping to build a more robust global community.”

  • “If the United Nations does not attempt to chart a course for the world's people in the first decades of the new millennium, who will?”

  • “We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will.”

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

  • “What governments and people don't realise is that sometimes the collective interest - the international interest - is also the national interest.”

    Kofi Annan

  • “The question is the morning after. What sort of Iraq do we wake up to after the bombing? What happens in the region? What impact could it have? These are questions leaders I have spoken to have posed.”

  • “More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development.”

  • “I don't share the view that the ICC is anti-African. The ICC is not putting Africa on trial. The ICC is fighting impunity and individuals who are accused of crimes.”

  • “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.”

  • “Many African leaders refuse to send their troops on peace keeping missions abroad because they probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations.”

  • “In the rush for justice it is important not to lose sight of principles the country holds dear.”

  • “National markets are held together by shared values and confidence in certain minimum standards. But in the new global market, people do not yet have that confidence.”

  • “Above all else, we need a reaffirmation of political commitment at the highest levels to reducing the dangers that arise both from existing nuclear weapons and from further proliferation.”

  • “The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.”

  • “I have always believed that on important issues, the leaders must lead. Where the leaders fail to lead, and people are really concerned about it, the people will take the lead and make the leaders follow.”

  • “Time and again, when member states and the governments are faced with an insoluble problem, and they're under pressure to do something, that something usually ends up being referred to the U.N.”


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