Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, will speak about his time in the midst of global turmoil, in a conversation hosted by Sauder’s Canaccord Learning Commons on September 18.
Annan became the first sub-Saharan African to hold the position as Secretary-General. His two terms saw the world faced with the terrorist attacks of September 11, the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the fighting between Israel, Hezbollah and Lebanon.
In December 2001, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work toward creating a “better organized and more peaceful world.” Annan said that, “we have entered the third millennium through a gate of fire.”
In his upcoming biography, Interventions: A Life in War & Peace, Annan discusses his time at the United Nations and the geopolitical transformations that followed the end of the Cold War.
He shows the successes of the United Nations but also points to the organization’s current challenges – the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the endurance of global poverty.
Annan spent forty years working for the United Nations. He joined in 1962, working for the World Health Organization and later the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. He was the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at a time when nearly 70,000 military and civilian personnel were deployed in UN operations around the world.
He recently served as the United Nations/League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria.