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Words of Wisdom

Kofi Annan on Human Solidarity

“We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others, and not only what we need immediately. We are all in the same boat.”


-Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

Annan was the seventh person to serve as leader of the United Nations:

1. Trygve Lie, Norway (1946-52)

2. Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden (1953-61)

3. U Thant, Burma (1961-71)

4. Kurt Waldheim, Austria (1972-81)

5. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peru (1982-91)

6. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egypt (1992-96)

7. Kofi Annan, Ghana (1997-2006)

8. Ban Ki-moon, South Korea (2007-Present)

Secretaries-general are elected to 5-year terms. Although there is no set term limit, none in the position have ever achieved a third. Ban Ki-moon, up for re-election again in 2016, could become the first. If he chooses to retire, the progressive factions may prioritize electing a woman to be the 9th secretary-general.


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