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Kofi Annan Quotes & Sayings

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Famous Quotes By Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan Quotes 462691

You saw the traumas that people lived through, and wondered what it will take to move us as a human community, as humanity, to help in these dangerous situations. — Kofi Annan

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Above all else, we need a reaffirmation of political commitment at the highest levels to reducing the dangers that arise both from existing nuclear weapons and from further proliferation. — Kofi Annan

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We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world's people share the benefits of globalization. — Kofi Annan

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We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children. — Kofi Annan

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For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. — Kofi Annan

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Gather the five virtues (Dignity, Confidence, Courage, Compassion, and Faith). Then you are a man. — Kofi Annan

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Beneath the surface of states and nations, ideas and language, lies the fate of individual human beings in need. Answering their needs will be the mission of the United Nations in the century to come. — Kofi Annan

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Literacy is at the heart of sustainable development — Kofi Annan

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Applaud us when we prevail, correct us when we fail; but, above all, do not let this indispensable, irreplaceable institution wither, languish or perish as a result of Member States' indifference, inattention or financial starvation. — Kofi Annan

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There is no trust more sacred than the
one the world holds with children. — Kofi Annan

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More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development. — Kofi Annan

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Young people - with their dynamism, their energy and their inherent understanding of our interconnected world - have much to teach us. Increased educational attainment, advances in technology and the spread of information have made this generation the best educated, most connected and most informed in history — Kofi Annan

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Not only do these abominable weapons lie buried in silence and in their millions waiting to kill or maim innocent women and children; but the presence or even the fear of the presence of a single landmine can prevent the cultivation of an entire field, rob a whole village of its livelihood, place yet another obstacle on a country's road to reconstruction and development — Kofi Annan

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We at the U.N. have to take some of the blame, because we have not lowered expectations creating the impression we are here to save people, even when we have very limited resources. — Kofi Annan

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Slavery was, in a very real sense, the first
international human rights issue to come to the fore. It led to the
adoption of the first human rights laws and to the creation of the
first human rights non-governmenta l organization. And yet despite
the efforts of the international community to combat this abhorrent
practice, it is still widely prevalent in all
its insidious forms, old and new. — Kofi Annan

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I used to tell the story about as a young man in high school one of the professors came in and put a broad white sheet on the board with a dot in the right hand corner and said, "Boys, what do you see?" And we all shouted, a black dot. He stood back and said, "not a single one of you saw the broad white sheet, you all saw the black dot." He went on to tell us to focus on the broader picture, don't focus on the negative. — Kofi Annan

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Both parties accept this vision. But we can reach it only if we move rapidly and in parallel on all fronts. The so-called 'sequential' approach has failed. — Kofi Annan

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We will not enjoy security without development, we will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights. — Kofi Annan

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The United Nations believes that acceptance of these principles will help the Palestinian people achieve their legitimate goal of an end to occupation and the creation of an independent and viable state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. — Kofi Annan

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Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is. — Kofi Annan

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The report [by a UN commission on Darfur] demonstrates beyond all doubt that the last two years have been little short of hell on earth for our fellow human beings in Darfur. — Kofi Annan

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You have to wake up every day ready to start again. — Kofi Annan

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Nuclear terrorism is still often treated as science fiction. I wish it were. But unfortunately we live in a world of excess hazardous materials and abundant technological know-how, in which some terrorists clearly state their intention to inflict catastrophic casualties. Were such an attack to occur, it would not only cause widespread death and destruction, but would stagger the world economy ... [creating] a second death toll throughout the developing world. — Kofi Annan

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Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right. — Kofi Annan

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Microfinance recognizes that poor people are remarkable reservoirs of energy and knowledge, posing an untapped opportunity to create markets, bring people in from the margins and give them the tools with which to help themselves. — Kofi Annan

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Invite politicians to dinner and let them tell the world how delicious it is ... They will proudly go around and say, 'I ate crickets, I ate locusts, and they were delicious.' — Kofi Annan

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The war on drugs has failed in West Africa and around the world — Kofi Annan

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We shall not defeat any of the infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care. — Kofi Annan

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I don't see a situation where one side will win militarily, take over Syria, and there will be peace and quiet, a clean victory. — Kofi Annan

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The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems - and in most years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as 'weapons of mass destruction'. — Kofi Annan

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Contrary to popular belief, we do not face a choice between economy and ecology, It is often said that protecting the environment would constrain or even undermine economic growth. In fact, the opposite is true: unless we protect resources and the earth's natural capital, we shall not be able to sustain economic growth. — Kofi Annan

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The fight against HIV/AIDS requires leadership from all parts of government - and it needs to go right to the top. AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to development itself. — Kofi Annan

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The international community ... allows nearly 3 billion people almost half of all humanity to subsist on $2 or less a day in a world of unprecedented wealth. — Kofi Annan

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Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict. — Kofi Annan

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I believe that our world needs an instrument of global action as never before in history. I believe that the United Nations is the instrument for securing peace and for giving people everywhere, in poorer countries as in richer, a real stake in that peace by promoting development and encouraging cooperation. But the United Nations is only an instrument, an actor in need of props and cues from its directors, And so I will paraphrase Winston Churchill: Give us the tools-the trust, the authority and the means-and we will do the job. — Kofi Annan

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Let us, above all, be clear that, without a convincing program of debt relief to start the new millennium, our objective of halving world poverty by 2015 will be only a pipe dream. — Kofi Annan

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The future of peace and prosperity that we seek for all the world's peoples needs a foundation of tolerance, security, equality and justice. — Kofi Annan

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Unfortunately, very few governments think about youth unemployment when they are drawing up their national plans. — Kofi Annan

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Children are our future and if we use them in battle, we are destroying the future. We must reclaim them, every one of them, one at a time. — Kofi Annan

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To look into some aspects of the future, we do not need projections by supercomputers. Much of the next millennium can be seen in how we care for our children today. Tomorrow's world may be influenced by science and technology, but more than anything, it is already taking shape in the bodies and minds of our children. — Kofi Annan

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Let us all reaffirm our commitment to improving the well- being of families throughout the world. — Kofi Annan

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I was devastated by the atrocious bombings that struck London today. These vicious acts have cut us all to the core, for they are an attack on humanity itself. [7th July 2005 - on London bombings — Kofi Annan

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We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will. — Kofi Annan

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Landmines are among the most barbaric weapons of war, because they continue to kill and maim innocent people long after the war itself has ended. Also, fear of them keeps people off the land, and thus prevents them from growing food. — Kofi Annan

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The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter. — Kofi Annan

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We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others, and not only what we need immediately. We are all in the same boat. — Kofi Annan

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Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right ... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential. — Kofi Annan

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You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done. — Kofi Annan

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A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment — Kofi Annan

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In the past we could afford a long gestation period before undertaking major environmental policy initiatives. Today the time for a well-planned transition to a sustainable system is running out. We may be moving in the right direction, but we are moving too slowly. We are failing in our responsibility to future generations and even the present one. — Kofi Annan

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I have always believed that on important issues, the leaders must lead. Where the leaders fail to lead, and people are really concerned about it, the people will take the lead and make the leaders follow. — Kofi Annan

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Drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrongheaded governmental policies have destroyed many more. I think it's obvious that after 40 years of war on drugs, it has not worked. There should be decriminalization of drugs. — Kofi Annan

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The global HIV/AIDS epidemic is an unprecedented crisis that requires an unprecedented response. In particular it requires solidarity - between the healthy and the sick, between rich and poor, and above all, between richer and poorer nations. We have 30 million orphans already. How many more do we have to get, to wake up? — Kofi Annan

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If we do not get a universal acceptance of the constitution the likelihood of the violence continuing is there. If it had been an inclusive exercise
as when everybody had embraced the constitution and everyone saw his interest protected by the constitution
I think it would have been a rallying exercise. We are not there at this stage — Kofi Annan

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We must bring a message of solidarity, of mutual respect and, above all, of hope. Business cannot afford to be seen as the problem. — Kofi Annan

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To live is to choose. — Kofi Annan

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Founded on the principles of private initiative, entrepreneurship and self-employment, underpinned by the values of democracy, equality and solidarity, the co-operative movement can help pave the way to a more just and inclusive economic order. — Kofi Annan

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A citizen of the world in the fullest sense - one whose vision and culture gave him a deep empathy with fellow human beings of every creed and color. — Kofi Annan

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Democracy is, in essence, a form of non-violent conflict management. If war is the worst enemy of development, healthy and balanced development is the best form of conflict prevention. — Kofi Annan

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Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace — Kofi Annan

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The World is not ours to keep. We hold it in trust for future generations. — Kofi Annan

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We must restore the sacredness of the family as a bedrock of humane values everywhere, in peace as well as in war. — Kofi Annan

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The main point in our report was to recommend decriminalization ... because of the way laws are applied, which have not worked. We have applied them for decades and it's got the prisons filled with lots of young people who sometimes come out destroyed for having half an ounce ... We should approach it through education and health issues rather than a brutal reaction ... There is need for change in policy, but it has to start with debate and discussion ... I think the whole approach has to be reviewed. — Kofi Annan

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Many African leaders refuse to send their troops on peace keeping missions abroad because they probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations. — Kofi Annan

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On this International Day of Peace, let us dare to imagine a world free of conflict and violence — Kofi Annan

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In the rush for justice it is important not to lose sight of principles the country holds dear. — Kofi Annan

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Any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth will be left behind. — Kofi Annan

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By signing the Oslo accords in 1993 he took a giant step towards the realization of this vision. It is tragic that he did not live to see it fulfilled. — Kofi Annan

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Open markets offer the only realistic hope of pulling billions of people in developing countries out of abject poverty, while sustaining prosperity in the industrialized world. — Kofi Annan

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UN peacekeeping operations are now increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, going beyond monitoring a ceasefire to actually bringing failed States back to life, often after decades of conflict. The blue helmets and their civilian colleagues work together to organize elections, enact police and judicial reform, promote and protect human rights, conduct mine-clearance, advance gender equality, achieve the voluntary disarmament of former combatants, and support the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes. — Kofi Annan

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Let us choose to unite the power of markets with the authority of universal ideals. Let us choose to reconcile the creative forces of private entrepreneurship with the needs of the disadvantaged and the requirements of future generations. — Kofi Annan

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Let us work in partnerships between rich and poor to improve the opportunities of all human beings to build better lives. — Kofi Annan

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If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom. — Kofi Annan

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This is an historic step forward in the world's efforts to combat a truly global threat. — Kofi Annan

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A world government can intervene militarily in the internal affairs of any nation when it disapproves of their activities. — Kofi Annan

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Let us recognize that extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere. Let us recall that poverty is a denial of human rights. For the first time in history, in this age of unprecedented wealth and technical prowess, we have the power to save humanity from this shameful scourge. Let us summon the will to do it. — Kofi Annan

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The right to development is the measure of the respect of all other human rights.That should be our aim: a situation in which all individuals are enabled to maximize their potential, and to contribute to the evolution of society as a whole. — Kofi Annan

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Microfinance is an idea whose time has come. — Kofi Annan

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When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life. — Kofi Annan

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Achieving the MDGs is not optional; it is an essential investment in a safer, more human and prosperous world — Kofi Annan

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We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind. — Kofi Annan

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Jewish people have been victims of anti-Semitism in many parts of the world, and in Europe they were the target of the Holocaust, the ultimate abomination. Yet, we cannot expect Palestinians to accept this as a reason why the wrongs done to them — Kofi Annan

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Can the state, which represents the whole of society and has the duty of protecting society, fulfill that duty by lowering itself to the level of the murderer, and treating him as he treated others? The forfeiture of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process. — Kofi Annan

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On this International Literacy Day, let us recall that literacy for all is an integral part of education for all, and that both are critical for achieving truly sustainable development for all. — Kofi Annan

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Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere. — Kofi Annan

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In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda. — Kofi Annan

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Without a dream you'll not get anywhere. — Kofi Annan

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We don't need any more promises. We need to start keeping the promises we already made. — Kofi Annan

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On climate change, we often don't fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen. — Kofi Annan

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Let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations. — Kofi Annan

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If there is one area where equity is crucial and essential,
I think it should be the issue of water. — Kofi Annan

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The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone. — Kofi Annan

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Sadly, a prize for peace is a rarity in this world. Most nations have monuments or memorials to war, bronze salutations to heroic battles, archways of triumph. But peace has no parade, no pantheon of victory. — Kofi Annan

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Whether our task is fighting poverty, stemming the spread of disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the leadership of the strong and the engagement of all. — Kofi Annan

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I don't share the view that the ICC is anti-African. The ICC is not putting Africa on trial. The ICC is fighting impunity and individuals who are accused of crimes. — Kofi Annan

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On this International Day of UN Peacekeepers, let us pay tribute to the men and women from countries across the world who serve selflessly, tirelessly and fearlessly in UN peacekeeping operations. Let us remember the heroes who have laid down their lives in lands far from their own in the service of peace. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a world free from the scourge of war. — Kofi Annan

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If we can come up with innovations and train young people to take on new jobs, and if we can switch to clean energy, I think we have the capacity to build this world not dependent on fossil-fuel. I think it will happen, and it won't destroy economy. — Kofi Annan

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There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women ... When women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately: families are healthier; they are better fed; their income, savings, and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, whole countries. — Kofi Annan

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The global work of the United Nations is not without reason compared to that of a family - striving for a common goal in concert with all members for a better future. — Kofi Annan

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When things are really desperate and hopeless and you can't do anything about this, and there's a sense that something must be done, that is something usually leads to the U.N. — Kofi Annan