|Kofi Annan was the Seventh Secretary General of the United Nations (1997-2006)
Being the first Secretary General, who was selected from a number of personnel of the United Nations Organization, Kofi Annan took the oath of office as Secretary General on January 1, 1997. On June 29, 2001, Mr. Annan was re-appointed for second term as Secretary General by the decision of the General Assembly since his term was expiring on December 31, 2006.
The priority problems of Mr. Annan as Secretary General concluded in the activating of activity by the United Nations Organization at the expense of the realization of comprehensive reform program; strengthening the traditional activity of the Organization in areas of development and the maintenance of international peace and safety; the encouragement and promotion of human rights, legality and general values, concerning equality, tolerance and human dignity, secured in regulations of United Nations Organization; and restoration of the trust of the public towards the Organization by establishing relations with new partners and, as he said “provided that the UN comes closer to the public”.
Mr. Annan was born in Kumasi (Ghana) on April 8, 1938. He studied at the University of Science and technology in Kumasi and completed a degree in economics in Macalester College in St.Paul, Minnesota (USA) in 1961. In 1961-1962, he did a postgraduate course in the field of economics in the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva. From 1971-1972, after receiving an MIT Sloan School of Management grant, Kofi Annan studied in the Massachusetts Institute of technology, from where he received a master’s degree in management.
The first major initiative of Mr. Annan as Secretary General was his reform plan “Rejuvenation of the UN”, which was submitted to the member states in July, 1997 and which was carried out since then by paying special attention to provide effective interaction and coordination. His presentation on “Reasons of conflicts and assistance to ensure lasting peace and sustainable development in Africa” presented to the Security Council in April, 1998 was among some the initiatives, directed towards the preservation of the commitment of the international community to resolve the problems of Africa, being the region of the world, which is in the most unfavorable position. He used his kind services in a number of difficult political situations. Such activity included the attempt undertaken in 1998 in the execution of the resolutions of the Security Council by Iraq; The realization of the mission for assistance in the formation of a civilian government in Nigeria; In 1999, signing of the agreement, which facilitated in coming out of a deadlock situation in relations between Libya and the Security Council in connection with aerial bombing over Lockerbie in 1988; Realization of diplomatic initiatives for taking up measures by International community in connection with violence in East Timor in 1999; Proof of the exit of Israel from Lebanon in September, 2000 and acceptance of additional measures after a new upsurge of violence in September, 2000 with a view to encourage the Israelis and Palestinians to settle the misunderstandings through peace talks according to the resolutions of the Security Council 242 and 338 and the principle “Earth in exchange for peace”.
On December 10, 2001, the Secretary General and the United Nations Organization were awarded the Nobel Prize.
The Secretary General is fluent in English, French and several other African languages. He is married to Nane Annan (Swedish), who is a lawyer and artist, who also shows a huge interest in the activities of the United Nations Organization. Two issues are of special interest: HIV/AIDS and the education for women. She has also written a book for children about the United Nations Organization.
Mr and Mrs Annan have three children.