1st Edition

We the Peoples A UN for the Twenty-First Century

By Kofi A. Annan Copyright 2014

    During his momentous time as Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan played a decisive role in launching the Millennium Development Goals, establishing the International Criminal Court, and articulating the Responsibility to Protect as a guiding principle for international action. In 2001 - just after 9/11 - he and the UN jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize, 'for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.' These and other crucial events - including the crises over Kosovo and East Timor, and the war in Iraq - are encapsulated in this book of Kofi Annan's key speeches from throughout his term of office. The selection gives a broad view of Annan's most pressing concerns, and the eloquence with which he addressed them. Covering subjects from development, health, and climate change to the prevention of genocide and the ideal of diversity, these statements show how deeply involved the UN was in the most important issues of the era. We the Peoples is a timely and much-needed reminder of Annan's ideas and priorities; his words on war, peace, humanity, and 'man's inhumanity to man' still resonate today. This book will offer many pointers for maintaining and developing the UN as a vital instrument for humanity in the coming decades.

    Introduction Chapter 1. The United Nations *


    Kofi A. Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving two terms from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2006, and was the first to emerge from the ranks of UN staff. In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, with the citation praising his leadership for bringing new life to the organization.

    "Readers will come away with a better understanding of Annan's philosophy with regard to how the United Nations should participate in global governance and the role the secretary general should play in world affairs. VERDICT Recommended reading for those interested in international relations or recent UN history. This is a strong companion to Annan's earlier work with Nadar Mousavizadeh, Interventions."
    -Library Journal

    “This long-awaited book by Kofi Annan provides remarkable lessons of history during his service as Secretary-General, combined with advice and counsel that are valuable to all world leaders for meeting future challenges and opportunities.”
    -Jimmy Carter

    “Kofi Annan is a man himself committed to the principles he asks of others. This vital book brings to us the practice of his indomitable credo: justice, peace, and fulfillment of the real needs of the human condition for ‘We the Peoples.’”
    -Nadine Gordimer

    "We hear in this book the clear and persuasive voice of a man who stood at the turn of a century and believed that he could make a difference, personally and institutionally. And he did. Elected by states, he stood for people, and in dealing with both he changed for the better how we view international relations."
    -Louise Arbour

    "We the Peoples will help to illumine the major cross-currents of international politics, the tensions between international idealism and state-based realism, the evolution of the concept of the international community and the role of global norms in shaping the terms of engagement between states, international organizations and civil society actors on the contested terrain of world politics, and the sense of cosmopolitan solidarity."
    —Global Governance