13 December 1996


13 December 1996

Press Release


19961213 Biographical Note Kofi Annan, Under-Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations, was today recommended by the Security Council for appointment by the General Assembly as Secretary-General of the United Nations for a term of office from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2001.

A national of Ghana, Mr. Annan returned to the post of United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace-Keeping Operations in March 1996, after having served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the former Yugoslavia and the Special Envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) throughout the transition period which followed the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. He was originally appointed Under- Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations on 1 March 1993, a year after his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General in the same department.

Prior to those posts, Mr. Annan was employed by the United Nations in a number of other senior capacities. In all, he has devoted more than 30 years to the United Nations, serving in places as diverse as Addis Ababa, Cairo, Geneva, Ismailia (Egypt) and New York.

Among those positions, Mr. Annan served as Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Finance and Controller of the United Nations. Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990, Mr. Annan was sent by the Secretary-General to Iraq to help see what could be done to improve the situation on the ground and to facilitate the repatriation of over 900 international staff. While there, Mr. Annan became engaged in negotiations for the release of Western hostages and in bringing attention to the plight of over 500,000 Asians stranded in Kuwait and Iraq. Subsequently, he led the United Nations team negotiating with Iraq on the possible sale of oil for purchases of humanitarian aid.

__________ * This supersedes Press Release BIO/2753 dated 26 February 1993.

- 2 - Press Release BIO/3051 13 December 1996

Earlier, Mr. Annan had held concurrently the positions of Assistant Secretary-General in the Office of Human Resources Management and Security Coordinator for the United Nations system, following appointments as Director of the Budget and as Deputy Director of Administration and Head of Personnel in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Annan returned to his home country during the period from 1974 to 1976 as the Managing Director of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, serving concurrently on its Board and on the Ghana Tourist Control Board.

Apart from his official duties, Mr. Annan has long been involved in the areas of education and development and the welfare and protection of international staff. He is currently on the Boards of Trustees of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, California. He was, for many years, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations International School in New York, and he served as a Governor of the International School in Geneva from 1981 to 1983. Within the United Nations, Mr. Annan has contributed to the work of the Appointment and Promotion Board and the Senior Review Group (both of which he chaired), to the Administrative, Management and Financial Board, to the Secretary-General's Task Force for Peace-keeping, and to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.

Mr. Annan, who speaks English, French and several African languages, studied at the University of Science and Technology at Kumasi and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College, which awarded him its Trustee Distinguished Service Award in 1994, in honour of his more than 30 years of service to the international community. He undertook graduate studies in economics at the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in Geneva. As a 1971-1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he received a Master of Science degree in Management. In June 1996, Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service.

Mr. Annan was born in 1938. He is married and has three children.

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For information media. Not an official record.