Kofi Annan

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Born in April 1938 in Ghana, Annan studied in several international colleges before joining the United Nations in 1962, working in several capacities at its Headquarters.

He was Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006 and introduced many reforms to streamline its working.

Annan’s time in office was not without controversy. He was Secretary-General when genocides were perpetrated in Rwanda and the former Republic of Yugoslavia and UN peace-keeping forces were heavily criticised for failing to protect the civilian population.

However, Kofi Annan is best remembered for his work for peace and the promotion of human rights.

On 10 December 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the United Nations, for their determined action for a better organised world and for being at the forefront of action for world peace and security.