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A Selection of Kofi Annan's Greatest Speeches

20 Great Speeches by Kofi Annan

As United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and later Chair of his Foundation, Kofi Annan was called upon to deliver many speeches at major events worldwide.

We have selected twenty of Kofi Annan’s speeches for this page, which, taken together, provide a broad understanding of his views on peace, development and human rights. Many of his recommendations for action are as valid and important today as they were when he spoke these words.

The list is not exhaustive, and any selection is somewhat arbitrary. You can find more Kofi Annan speeches on our website and in UN online archives

The UN Library & Archives in Geneva has published a series of videos to remember Kofi Annan, his legacy, what has been accomplished since 2001 – when he and the United Nations were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – and what still needs to be achieved. 

Nobel Lecture

Kofi Annan’s speech upon reception of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Oslo, December 10, 2001

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The Crisis of Democracy

Kofi Annan’s speech at the 2017 Athens Democracy Forum.

Athens, September 13, 2017

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Leadership & Governance

Kofi Annan’s speech at the 2017 Junior Chamber International (JCI).

Amsterdam, November 8, 2017

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We stand or fall together

Kofi Annan’s Address to the 2005 World Summit

New York, September 14, 2005

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Religion, Pluralism & Democracy

Kofi Annan’s speech on the relationship between religion, pluralism, and democracy.

Bali, December 07, 2016

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Multilateralism – Today’s Imperative

Kofi Annan’s speech to the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

Oslo, July 14, 2009

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Food Security is a Global Challenge

Kofi Annan’s remarks at the opening of the Centre on Food Security and the Environment

Stanford, November 11, 2011

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Sovereignty – The State and the Individual

Kofi Annan’s speech at the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman Conference

Stockholm, June 9, 2009

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The New World Disorder: Challenges for the UN in the 21st Century

Kofi Annan’s lecture at the Andrew Carnegie Distinguished Lecture on Conflict Prevention

New York, October 24, 2014

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Climate change – the leadership challenge of our time

Kofi Annan’s speech at the Gabriel Silver Memorial Lecture

Columbia University, September 23, 2009

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Africa in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

Kofi Annan’s remarks at the Obafemi Awolowo Centenary Celebrations

Lagos, July 14, 2009

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An appeal to our common humanity

Address on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions,

Geneva, November 9, 2009

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The battle is never finally won

Address to both Houses of Parliament to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade,

London, May 8, 2007

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10 years after – A farewell statement to the General Assembly

10 years after – A farewell statement to the General Assembly,

New York, September 19, 2006

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Nuclear weapons, the greatest danger of all

Lecture at Princeton University,

New York, November 28, 2006

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Putting care and treatment within everyone's reach

Address by Kofi Annan to the African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Infectious Diseases,

Abuja, April 26, 2001

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Building a partnership for girls' education

Address to the World Education Forum,

Dakar, April 26, 2000

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Global Compact with Business

Address to World Economic Forum,

Davos, January 31, 1999

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On Intervention

35th Annual Ditchley Foundation Lecture,

Ditchley Park, June 26, 1998

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Our Enemy Is Indifference

Remarks at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library,

Boston, June 06, 1997

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