The University of Ghana last Friday organised the launch of a book authored by the University’s Chancellor, His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan. The ceremony took place at the New Conference Hall of ISSER.
Mr. Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations (1997-2006) gives a vivid account of some of the challenges and successes during his tenure in the 383 book entitled “Interventions, A Life of War and Peace.
In a colourful and well attended ceremony, Mr. Annan who delivered brief remarks prior to the official launch, outlined what has been described as “the highs and lows of his years at the United Nations: from shuttle-diplomacy during the crises in Kosovo, Lebanon and Israel-Palestine, to the grievous and wrenching battles over the Iraq War and the creation of the famous, “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.” In Interventions, Mr. Annan speaks about the United Nation’s ongoing challenges and failed efforts - the tragedies of Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, long-term violence in the Middle East, Darfur and the survival of HIV/AIDS, malaria and prevalent poverty on his home continent, Africa.
A Word from the Author, His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan
Chancellor Kofi Annan said that it was encouraging to note that democracy is gradually advancing all over the world, but sounded a word of caution to governments, particularly in Africa, to eschew violence, uphold peace and justice and the rule of law and respect for human rights at all times. He said these were paramount in the race to achieve true development in any society.
He expressed hope that the book would encourage young people to get into public service and serve humanity rather than the quest for money.
(From left, Justice S.K. Date-Bah, Mrs. Nane Annan, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, H.E. J.A. Kufuor and Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse)
Responding to a question in the Q & A session, Mr. Annan was emphatic on the need to respect sovereignty which he argued cannot be used as a shield for citizens to be brutalised by their own governments. He said that governments have the responsibility to protect their citizens and ensure that their basic rights are not infringed upon.
Mr. Ivor Agyemang-Duah who reviewed the Book, said that “Interventions” effectively conveys Mr. Annan’s firm conviction in the power of individual action and drive for change, underscoring that solutions to global challenges are available, if people are willing and courageous enough to pursue them.
He added that the former UN boss felt the need to inform the world about the workings within the UN and what went into ensuring world peace and comfort.
In her remarks, Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Member of the AU Panel of the Wise, who performed the launch said that the book teaches the need for consensus building, listening to other people's views, and also the fact that a successful life needs to be well built through a step by step and structured approach. She was optimistic readers will be motivated to take immediate actions to resolve challenges in the immediate future.
Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse performing the Book Launch
Earlier in brief remarks, the first Ghanaian Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Alexander Adum Kwapong described the Chancellor of the University and former UN Secretary-General as a global statesman who has never forgotten that he is an African and a Ghanaian. He strongly recommended the book, saying it was a must read.
Prof. Alexander Kwapong delivering remarks at the Ceremony
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ernest Aryeetey in a statement urged Ghanaians to draw inspiration from the words and thoughts of the noble man and strive to contribute their quota to the good of humanity.
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey delivered the Introductory and Closing Remarks
In an advance praise for the Book, “Interventions” a former US President, Bill Clinton says: In this thought-provoking new memoir, Kofi Annan describes the peaceful and more equitable world that is within our grasp , and offers his candid perspective on the challenges we must overcome to get there. Interventions is a powerful reminder that the United Nations still matters – and must continue to matter if we want our new century to be more free, peaceful and prosperous than the last.”
Says, Graca Machel, “An insightful and candid account of the most defining and complex conflicts and peace deals of the last decades of the twentieth century, intertwined with the vision and life journey of one of the most outstanding global leaders of our times. Kofi Annan marks his footprint in history with leadership values in which truth, humility and dignity are the weaving threads.”
And in the words of the author, “[Interventions] tells the story of my mission through the prism of some of the most consequential crises and questions I confronted as secretary-general – and the way they illustrate the wider implications of the challenges facing the global community of nations.
Interventions appears fifty years after Mr. Kofi Annan first joined the United Nations.
Time for Q & A
|Moomen Alhassan Muslim
||A Guest from Benin
||Prof. Kofi Anyidoho
||Madam Dorothy Gordon
The Ghana Dance Ensemble was at the ceremony to add colour with their unique cultural performance, in addition to the group’s Seperewa guru, Osei Korankye.
|Osei Korankye, “Seperewa Guru”
Mr. Annan was accompanied by his wife Nane. Among the large audience that witnessed the colourful and impressive ceremony was His Excellency Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, a former President of the Republic of Ghana, the Chairman of Council, Professor Justice S.K. Date Bah, Prof. Ivan Addae-Mensah and Prof. C.N.B. Tagoe, former Vice Chancellors of the University, Members of the University Council, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ministers of State and Parliamentarians, University officials and other members of the University community. A large number of family members and friends of Mr. Annan were also present.
His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor (left) and
Chairman of Council (behind) arrives at the venue for the Book Launch.
His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, invested as the Chancellor of the University of Ghana at a Special Congregation at the University in 2008. By his investiture, he became the second non-Head-of-State Chancellor since the University was established 65 years ago.
Please click here to access the Photo Gallery
Please click here to access the Remarks delivered by Prof. Alexander Adum Kwapong