"Education not only enriches culture. It is the first condition for freedom, democracy and sustainable development."
Feeling passion for what one does is the true way to transcend a position or function and awaken real capacities to make work a job and a way of life. Dedicating one's life to a task was the decision of Kofi Annan (1938 - 2018), former Secretary of the United Nations (UN), who for more than 40 years served as a protector of human rights through different spaces.
Kofi Annan: A life dedicated to the protection of human rights
He began his university studies in science and technology in his native Ghana, Africa. He continued his education in the United States, entering a university in Minnesota to graduate in the area of Economics, thanks to a scholarship granted by the Ford Foundation. After completing his academic preparation, he settled in Geneva (Switzerland) and joined the Institute of International Studies to begin his career at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Upon joining the world body, he served on the African Economic Commission for six years. His work at the head of this division led him to return to the United States to complete his studies in business administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the end of his studies, he returned to Ghana to work in tourism promotion. However, soon after (1976) he was hired by the United Nations. From that moment on, he began a long career in favor of the defense of human rights and especially supported populations in situations of extreme poverty.
In 1993 he held his first important position in the institution. when he was appointed as head of peacekeeping operations during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Annan is recognized for mediating in several major conflicts such as the major post-Cold War international crises.
The result of his work led him to the post of UN Secretary General for the period 1997 - 2001.replacing Butros Butros-Ghali. One of the first cases executed from the office was the mediation between the United States and Iraq, avoiding a major conflict at the time between the two nations. One of the greatest achievements of Annan's tenure was undoubtedly the reform of the UN and the implementation, during his second term at the helm of the organization, of the International Criminal CourtThe Court of Justice, the tribunal charged with bringing justice for crimes against humanity, genocide and war in the world.
Kofi Annan was the first black man to hold this position. His work at the forefront of the struggle to protect fundamental rights was recognized in 2001 with the Nobel Peace Prize.
In his career he acknowledged that the hardest moments of his career were the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. in the United States and the suicide attack against the UN headquarters in Baghdad during 2003. After completing his term as Secretary General, he served as mediator in Kenya, putting an end to a wave of violence in the country.
During his professional career he was awarded the JFJ Memorial Museum Medal of Valor.He has received several international awards for his contribution to security, development, education, science, human rights, human rights and democracy of peoples.