Kofi Annan, the great harbinger of hope, peace, and happiness is no more. It has left a deep void in the world of diplomacy and international relations.
Despite handling the world’s toughest job as a UN Secretary-General for ten years, Kofi’s overall persona remained unchanged.
He was a man of character built up of extraordinary knowledge, calmness and a bit of pragmatic approach as well.
Kofi resolved a lot of diplomatic crises almost singlehandedly in his forty years long journey as a career diplomat. He has joined UN Civil Service in 1962 and rose through the ranks.
Annan led the UN peacekeeping department, before becoming UN secretary general in 1997. He oversaw the UN’s unsuccessful operations in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Somalia.
However, as a true diplomat, Annan didn’t feel personally responsible for these debacles putting the onus on “World’s Lack of Responsible Leadership.”
When Kofi Annan’s Idealism Collides with a Reality!
Kofi Atta Annan was one of those rare diplomats who has a lifelong career in the UN bureaucracy. He was a great thinker and used a rare combination of Idealism and Pragmatic Approach while resolving any international conflict.
However, Kofi Annan was an outspoken orator too. Every time media criticized the United Nations for its utter failure in a rescue mission or towards war prevention, Annan was quick to shift the entire blame to UN’s member nations.
He tried his best to revamp the UN’s authoritative role as the ‘final word’ when it comes to managing the global conflicts of capricious nature. Unfortunately, he couldn’t succeed in it.
Similarly, the late Nobel laureate’s idealism took a backseat when the US went on to invade Iraq in 2003 despite many of the UN members were not too convinced about it.
But the United Nations failed to prevent the US from capturing Iraq and dethroning Saddam Hussein in a totally unlawful manner. Kofi Annan was a man of deep courage and conviction. He was the first person who openly condemned US Invasion of Iraq in 2003.
(Image Sources: Kofi Annan Instagram)
Kofi Annan: A Great Son of Africa
During his tenure as UN Secretary-General, he frantically worked towards chalking out meaningful solutions to the contemporary diplomatic puzzles surrounding the mystic world of international relations in a unipolar era.
Immediately, on joining as a UN Secretary-General, way back in 1996, Annan made “poverty alleviation in the developing world” as his top priority.
He also countered ‘national sovereignty’ in order to prevent future ethnic skirmishes and human rights abuses, which were prevalent at so many places in those days.
Kofi’s own ideology, popularly called ‘Kofi Doctrine’ vociferously argued that national sovereignty couldn’t be used as a tool to prevent the UN from Intervening on issues concerning warring nation-states on humanitarian grounds.
Annan got Nobel peace prize in 2001. Kofi Annan considered peacemaking, human rights and economic development as the three keys to the sustainable development of any nation.
Annan was deeply appalled by the rising level of poverty in Africa. He waged a life-long battle against injustice, human rights abuses, poverty, diseases and health crises that engulfed a lot of African countries as well.
Annan used the UN as a legitimate tool to solve those crises. And yes to some extent he was successful.
Long Live Kofi Annan
“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination”, Antonio Guterres, The Current UN Secretary General.
Antonio Guterres further stated, “It was Annan’s matchless charisma that saw the adoption of UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy and its ready acceptance by member states to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against Humanity”.
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(By: Atish Home Chowdhury)
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