44 Thought-Provoking Kofi Annan Quotes On Peace, Love And Harmony
Former UN Secretary General
Comassie, Gold Coast
Kofi Atta Annan was the seventeenth Secretary-General of the United Nations. He received the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ in 2001. Annan was one of the 12 honorary members of the non-profit organization - ‘The Elders’, which was initiated by Nelson Mandela to resolve some of the world's most intractable conflicts. He was also the founding chairman of the ‘Kofi Annan Foundation’, whose fundamental aim is to promote global peace and better governance. Annan was instrumental in combating rampant HIV epidemic in Africa. During his tenure, he laid the foundation of ‘United Nations Global Compact’. The primary goal of this institution is to stimulate global trade and to adopt ecologically feasible and socially responsible policies. Annan faced a lot of heat due to his controversial ‘Oil-for-Food Program’ and ‘Under-development of Security Council’. After his stint as UN Secretary General, Annan was elected as the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria. Here are some of the famous quotes from this global peace-keeper highlighting his thoughts and work on issues pertaining to harmony, equality, knowledge, globalization, religion, justice and freedom.
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. Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity. 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. We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world's people share the benefits of globalization. More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that is why we have the United Nations. Unfortunately, very few governments think about youth unemployment when they are drawing up their national plans. On climate change, we often don't fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen. We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will. 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. 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. 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. 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. Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family 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. 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. 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. The problem is not with the faith, but with the faithful 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. 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. What governments and people don't realise is that sometimes the collective interest - the international interest - is also the national interest. More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development. We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. 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. Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is. 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. Business, labor and civil society organizations have skills and resources that are vital in helping to build a more robust global community. 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. 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. Iraq has a new opportunity to comply with all these relevant resolutions of the Security Council. In the rush for justice it is important not to lose sight of principles the country holds dear. Many African leaders refuse to send their troops on peace keeping missions abroad because they probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations. 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. In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda. The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone. 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 need to keep hope alive and strive to do better. You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done.
If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom.
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.
We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children.
If information and knowledge are central to democracy, they are conditions for development. Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.