Kofi Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan

Kofi
Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan
1938

Ghanaian Diplomat, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, awarded Nobel Peace Prize for founding Global AIDS and Health Fund

Author Quotes

No society can develop without focusing on three pillars: (1)Security and safety for the population (2)Economic and social development (3)Respect for the rule of law and human rights.

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.

On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us recognize that extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere. Let us recall that poverty is a denial of human rights. For the first time in history, in this age of unprecedented wealth and technical prowess, we have the power to save humanity from this shameful scourge. Let us summon the will to do it.

Founded on the principles of private initiative, entrepreneurship and self-employment, underpinned by the values of democracy, equality and solidarity, the co-operative movement can help pave the way to a more just and inclusive economic order.

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.

Whether our task is fighting poverty, stemming the spread of disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the leadership of the strong and the engagement of all

It may seem sometimes as if a culture of peace does not stand a chance against the culture of war, the culture of violence and the cultures of impunity and intolerance. Peace may indeed be a complex challenge, dependent on action in many fields and even a bit of luck from time to time. It may be a painfully slow process, and fragile and imperfect when it is achieved. But peace is in our hands. We can do it.

People of different religions and cultures live side by side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping identities which unite us with very different groups. We can love what we are, without hating what – and who – we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings.

Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.

Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.

Globalization is a fact of life. But I believe we have underestimated its fragility.

Justice has taken its course and the authority and legitimacy of the legal process must be respected.

No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.

Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations.

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right... is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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

Author Picture
First Name
Kofi
Last Name
Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan
Birth Date
1938
Bio

Ghanaian Diplomat, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, awarded Nobel Peace Prize for founding Global AIDS and Health Fund