Kofi Annan

Ghanian Diplomat, 7th UN Secretary-General
2001 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
2003 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
The Elders

birthdate: April 8
Kumas, Ghana

In 1997, Kofi Annan became the 7th Secretary General of the United Nations, and the first black person to achieve this office. As Secretary General he worked hard to strengthen and revitalize the UN's work and to improve the UN's image. He also sought to strengthen partnerships with civil society and the private sector, trying to bring the United Nations "closer to the people." At the turn of the Millennium, Kofi Annan issued a report outlining the UN's role in the 21st century. The Millennium Declarations adopted by the leaders of the world during the special Millennium Summit in September 2000 were based on his report. The Millennium Development Goals set specific goals to end poverty and inequality, improve education, reduce violence, combat HIV/AIDS and protect the environment.

In 2001, Kofi Annan and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world." After completing his second five year term as Secretary-General, Kofi Annan was chosen to lead the new Alliance for a Green Revolution in African and he was one of the founding members of The Elders, an international group of some of the world's leading social change advocates.

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