Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kofi Annan - 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations

Kofi Atta Annan is the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was the seventh individual to hold the office and served for a decade - January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2007. He is also a joint Nobel Prize holder. Born on April 8, 1938 in Gold Coast, Annan is a national of Ghana. His education took place in an elite Methodist boarding school. He started graduate studies in economics from Ghana and a Ford Scholarship made it possible for him to finish the course from Minnesota's Macalester College.

He started with UN as a Budget Officer for the World Health Organization. He joined Ghana's Department of Tourism in 1974 where he worked till 1976. He moved back to work with United Nations in 1976 as Assistant Secretary General. He consecutively held this position in three departments namely Human Resources Management and Security Coordinator followed by Program Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller further followed by Peacekeeping Operations. While he was the Assistant Secretary General - Peacekeeping Operations, the Rwandan Genocide took place where he received mild criticism for a pacifist approach.

He then took the position of Under Secretary-General in 1995. The UNSC suggested him for the position of UN Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 and was accepted by the General Assembly after 4 days. He served the office with great devotion and derived widespread acclaim in spite of some instances to the contrary. He is also the only Secretary-General to see a health resolution get a consensus vote in United Nations General Assembly.

On 19 September 2006,Annan gave a farewell address to world leaders at the UN headquarters in New York He was fully retired a couple of days later.

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