Kofi Annan Quotes On Education, Leadership and Peace

In this Post, I have shared some of the most impactful Kofi Annan Quotes.

Kofi Annan was born on April 8, 1938, and died on August 18, 2018. He was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the UN’s seventh Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006. In 2001, Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the  Nobel Peace Prize. Annan founded the Kofi Annan Foundation and served as chairman of The Elders.

The Elders is an international non-governmental organization founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to bring together elderly leaders, peace activists, and human rights advocates. Independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights is how they identify themselves. Nelson Mandela founded the organization so  Elders could use their years of collective experience to work on solutions to  problems like climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as use their knowledge and political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

Annan reformed the United Nations (UN) bureaucracy as secretary-general, campaigned to combat HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa, and introduced the UN Global Compact. In 2007, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation to concentrate on worldwide development when his term as Secretary-General came to an end. Annan served as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria in 2012, tasked with finding a solution to the country’s protracted conflict. 

33 Kofi Annan Quotes 

  1. “Without a dream you’ll not get anywhere.”

2. “No one is born a good citizen or a good democrat or a good leader; it takes time and education.”

3. “Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”

4. “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

5. “In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.”

6. “Unfortunately, very few governments think about youth unemployment when they are drawing up their national plans.”

7. “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.”

8. “It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”

6. “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”

7. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

8. “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”

9. “Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is.”

10. “No single solution or actor can deal with the complex and interrelated challenges to electoral integrity arising from manipulated data, hate speech, and fake news. These phenomena are not new; they have been part of electoral cycles since the advent of democracy.”

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Famous Kofi Annan Quotes

11. “People of different religions and cultures live side by side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping identities which unite us with very different groups. We can love what we are, without hating what – and who – we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings.”

12. “Often we mistake stability, in terms of security and economic activity, to mean a country is doing well. We forget the third and important pillar: rule of law and respect for human rights.

13. “The problem is not with the faith, but with the faithful.”

14. “If globalization is to succeed, it must succeed for poor and rich alike. It must deliver rights no less than riches. It must provide social justice and equity no less than economic prosperity and enhanced communication.”

15. “What governments and people don’t realise is that sometimes the collective interest – the international interest  is also the national interest.”

16. “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.”

17. “Many African leaders refuse to send their troops on peacekeeping missions abroad because they probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations.”

18. “More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that is why we have the United Nations.”

19. “If you have a problem and you can’t find a solution, you meet again tomorrow and you keep talking until you find a solution. You can disagree with behavior or a particular position, but you do not resort to calling an opponent worthless.”

20. “We cannot allow situations where leaders threaten war on television or on Twitter.”

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Kofi Annan Quotes on leadership and peace

21. “Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

22. “In the rush for justice it is important not to lose sight of principles the country holds dear.”

23. “More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that is why we have the United Nations.”

24. “We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will.”

25. “Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

26. “You are never too young to lead and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not.”

27. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

28. “You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done.”

29. “The world is not ours to keep. We hold it in trust for future generations.”

30. “Above all, I wish for a world in which men and women of every nation archive a measure of dignity and opportunity in their individual lives that allows each of them to serve others, and stand up to the forces of injustice and inequality wherever they exist.”

31. “A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.”

32. “As study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”

33. “A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.”

My favorite Kofi Annan Quotes are “Without a dream you’ll not get anywhere.” and “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”

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