In Memory Of Kofi Annan: Father Of The Modern Corporate Sustainability Movement
By Georg Kell
A great son of Africa and a true global leader has passed away. Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general from 1997 to 2006 and co-recipient, with the UN, of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, is being mourned and remembered with great affection all over the world. He was the conscience of humanity, endowed with the ability to inspire millions of people across cultures, religions and nations to support the good causes of the United Nations – peace, human rights and sustainable development. Kofi Annan’s unique leadership capabilities, his humility and decency, his compassion and his humor will always be remembered by those who had the privilege of working with him. As last great reformer of the United Nations, he managed to modernize its bureaucracy in critical areas such as women empowerment and global health.
Kofi Annan is mostly remembered for the role he played on the political stage and for the events that shaped the first decade of our century, especially the invasion of Iraq. He did not hesitate to speak truth to power and he silently –abandoned by many around him – endured the consequence: a very ugly personal smear campaign that wrongly accused him of corruption. But even during these dark months he would not abandon his faith in the ideas of the United Nations.
Photo courtesy of Isriya Paireepairit.