Subscribe
Find us on
Kofi Time: The Podcast

About the Podcast

Regarded as one of the modern world’s icons of diplomacy, what is Kofi Annan’s legacy today? What can we learn from him, and how can we prepare for tomorrow based on his vision for a better world?

In this exclusive 10-part podcast, Ahmad Fawzi, one of Kofi Annan’s former spokespersons and Communication Advisor, will examine how Kofi Annan tackled a specific crisis and its relevance to today’s world and challenges.

Kofi Annan’s call to bring all stakeholders around the table — including the private sector, local authorities, civil society organisations, academia, and scientists — resonates now more than ever with so many, who understand that governments alone cannot shape our future.

Join us on a journey of discovery as Ahmad Fawzi interviews some of Kofi Annan’s closest advisors and colleagues, including Dr Peter Piot, Christiane Amanpour, Mark Malloch-Brown, Michael Møller, Mark Suzman, Alicia Bárcena and more.

Listen and follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud

Brought to you by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the United Nations Information Service.

Follow us on Spotify

Ending Poverty: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Alicia Bárcena | Episode 8 Part 2

In the second part of our episode on eradicating poverty, Ahmad Fawzi welcomes special guest Alicia Bárcena. Together, they dive deeper into the challenges undermining the eradication of poverty.
How can we incentivize resource-redistribution to promote solidarity and build a ‘care society’? How can we push forward the development agenda and make poverty history?

Ending Poverty: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Mark Suzman| Episode 8 Part 1

In Kofi Time episode 8 part 1, podcast host Ahmad Fawzi welcomes Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss how we can advance the fight against poverty. Mark discusses how Kofi Annan’s concept for the Millennium Development Goals was a necessary milestone to reduce poverty and brought unprecedented progress in the area of development. Mark and Ahmad talk about Kofi Annan’s approach to sustainable development – that of combining a long-term vision with short-term goals.

How can we reignite Kofi Annan’s global endeavour to collectively eradicate poverty once and for all?

Youth & Peace: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Hajer Sharief & Jeremy Gilley | Episode 7

In episode 7 of Kofi Time, podcast host Ahmad Fawzi welcomes two special guests, Hajer Sharief and Jeremy Gilley, to discuss the importance of youth inclusion in global challenges and peacebuilding. Sharing their experiences of meeting and working with Kofi Annan, Hajer and Jeremy highlight Kofi Annan’s ability to connect with young people, giving them a voice and treating them as true counterparts. Kofi Annan knew young people can be powerful agents of change.

What can we learn from the ‘Kofi Annan way’ to ensure youth are included in decision making?

Human Rights: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Zeid Raad Al Hussein | Episode 6

In episode 6 of Kofi Time, our special guest is Zeid Raad Al Hussein. Zeid discusses his friendship with Kofi Annan and how they worked together to protect human dignity and promote human rights. Through the creation of the Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court, Kofi Annan played a critical role in establishing the mechanisms that we have today to protect human rights and fight impunity.

How can we uphold Kofi Annan’s legacy and ensure that respect for human rights is not just an abstract concept but a reality?

Leadership: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Michael Møller | Episode 5

In episode 5 of Kofi Time, host Ahmad Fawzi interviews diplomat Michael Møller on Kofi Annan’s special kind of leadership. A respected leader among his peers and the public, Kofi Annan served the people of the world with courage, vision and empathy. Embodying moral steadfastness and an acute political acumen, his leadership was one of a kind.

What drove Kofi Annan, and how can we emulate his leadership style to face today’s global challenges?

Fighting Hunger: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Catherine Bertini | Episode 4

In episode 4 of Kofi Time, our special guest is Catherine Bertini. Ms. Bertini discusses how she worked with Kofi Annan to fight hunger and malnutrition around the world. Not only is access to food far from universal, but it is also severely impacted by conflicts and climate change.

As food prices increase and access becomes even more challenging, how can we replicate Kofi Annan’s approach to improving food systems to make sure no one gets lefts behind on the path to food security globally?

Health Crises: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Dr Peter Piot | Episode 3

In episode 3 Kofi Time, our special guest is Dr Peter Piot. Dr Piot discusses how he and Kofi Annan worked together to reverse the HIV/AIDs tide that swept through Africa in the 1990s, through patient but bold diplomacy, innovative partnerships and an inclusive approach that brought to the table previously marginalized communities. Dr Piot and podcast host Ahmad Fawzi discuss whether this approach be replicated today as the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and must prepare for future heath emergencies.

Making Peace: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Christiane Amanpour | Episode 2

In this episode of Kofi Time, host Ahmad Fawzi interviews renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour. Together, they discuss a world in turmoil, and what would Kofi Annan – who did so much for peace – do today?

Christiane shares her thoughts on the ‘Kofi Annan way’, the difficult job mediators and peacebuilders face, and the courage they must show. With Ahmad, they deliberate whether there is a type of ‘calling’ for those who work in this field.

Multilateralism: Then & Now | Kofi Time with Lord Mark Malloch-Brown | Episode 1

In this episode, Lord Malloch Brown shares insights with podcast host Ahmad Fawzi on how Kofi Annan strengthened the United Nations through careful diplomacy and bold reforms, and how significant advances were made during his tenure as Secretary-General. He comments on the state of multilateralism today, as the organization is buffeted by the crisis in Ukraine and the paralysis of the Security Council.

Kofi Time: The Official Trailer

Join us as we take a journey of discovery about Kofi Annan’s leadership style and what makes it so relevant and important today.

Podcast Host & Guests

Ahmad Fawzi Kofi Time Podcast Host

Mr Fawzi is the former head of News and Media at the United Nations. He worked closely with Kofi Annan both during his time as Secretary-General and afterwards, on crises including Iraq and Syria. Before joining the United Nations, he worked for many years in broadcast journalism, as a news editor, reporter and regional news operations manager. From 1991 to 1992, he was the News Operations Manager for the Americas for Visnews -- now Reuters Television. Also with Reuters Television, Mr Fawzi served as Regional News Manager for Eastern Europe, based in Prague, from 1989 to 1991 -- a time of tumultuous political change in that region. Concurrently with his assignment in Prague, he coordinated coverage of the Gulf war, managing the war desk in Riyadh, as well as the production centre in Dahran, Saudi Arabia. In 1989, Mr Fawzi was Reuters Television Bureau Chief for the Middle East, based in Cairo. Prior to that, he worked in London as News and Assignments Editor for Reuters Television. Previously, he was Editor and Anchor for the nightly news on Egyptian Television.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown Episode 1 Guest

Mark Malloch‐Brown is the president of the Open Society Foundations. He has worked in various senior positions in government and international organizations for more than four decades to advance development, human rights and justice. He was UN Deputy Secretary‐General and chief of staff under Kofi Annan. He previously Co-Chaired the UN Foundation Board. Malloch-Brown has worked to advance human rights and justice through working in international affairs for more than four decades. He was UN deputy secretary‐general and chief of staff under Kofi Annan. Before this, he was administrator of the UNDP, where he led global development efforts. He covered Africa and Asia as minister of state in the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office. Other positions have included World Bank vice president, lead international partner in a political consulting firm, vice-chair of the World Economic Forum, and senior advisor at Eurasia Group. He began his career as a journalist at the Economist and as an international refugee worker. He was knighted for his contribution to international affairs and is currently on leave from the British House of Lords. Malloch-Brown is a Distinguished Practitioner at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, an adjunct fellow at Chatham House’s Queen Elizabeth Program, and has been a visiting distinguished fellow at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

Christiane Amanpour Episode 2 Guest

Christiane Amanpour is a renowned journalist, whose illustrious career has taken her from CNN where she was Chief international correspondent for many years, to ABC as a Global Affairs Anchor, PBS and back to CNN International for the global affairs interview program named after her. She has received countless prestigious awards, including four Peabody Awards, for her international reporting and her achievements in broadcast journalism. She served as a member of the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety. She is also an honorary citizen of Sarajevo and was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2007 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Dr Peter Piot Episode 3 Guest

Dr Peter Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976. He has led research on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and women's health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Peter Piot was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008. Under his leadership, UNAIDS has become the chief advocate for worldwide action against AIDS. It has brought together ten organizations of the United Nations system around a common agenda on AIDS, spearheading UN reform Peter Piot was the Director of the Institute for Global Health at Imperial College; London and he held the 2009/2010 "Knowledge against poverty" Chair at the College de France in Paris. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a foreign member of the National Academy of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Catherine Bertini Episode 4 Guest

An accomplished leader in food security, international organization reform and a powerful advocate for women and girls, Catherine Bertini has had a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world. She has highlighted and supported the roles of women and girls in influencing change. She was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years, and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women. While in the US government, she expanded the electronic benefit transfer options for food stamp beneficiaries, created the food package for breastfeeding mothers, presented the first effort to picture healthy diets, and expanded education and training opportunities for poor women. As a United Nations Under-Secretary-General, and at the head of the World Food Programme for ten years (1992 to 2002), she led UN humanitarian missions to the Horn of Africa and to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. During her time serving with WFP, Catherine Bertini was responsible for the leadership and management of emergency, refugee, and development food aid operations, reaching people in great need in over 100 countries, as well as advocacy campaigns to end hunger and to raise financial resources. With her World Food Prize, she created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education to support programs to increase opportunities for girls and women to attend school. At the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where she is now professor emeritus, she taught graduate courses in humanitarian action, post-conflict reconstruction, girls’ education, UN management, food security, international organizations, and leadership. She served as a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation early in its new agricultural development program. Bertini is now the chair of the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Concurrently, she is a Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She has been named a Champion of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit. She is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University.

Michael Møller Episode 5 Guest

Mr Møller has over 40 years of experience as an international civil servant in the United Nations. He began his career in 1979 with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and worked for the United Nations in different capacities in New York, Mexico, Iran, Haiti, Cyprus and Geneva. He worked very closely with Kofi Annan as Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary-General between 2001 and 2006, while serving concurrently as Deputy Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General for the last two years of that period. Mr Møller also served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus from 2006 to 2008 and was the Executive Director of the Kofi Annan Foundation from 2008 to 2011. From 2013 to 2019, Mr Møller served as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva as well as Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference of Disarmament. He currently is Chairman of the Diplomacy Forum of Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator. A Danish citizen, Mr Møller earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein Episode 6 Guest

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is IPI’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Zeid served as the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018 after a long career as a Jordanian diplomat, including as his country’s Permanent Representative to the UN (2000-2007 & 2010-2014) and Ambassador to the United States (2007-2010). He served on the UN Security Council, was a configuration chair for the UN Peace-Building Commission, and began his career as a UN Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia. Zeid has also represented his country twice before the International Court of Justice, served as the President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court from 2002-2005, and in 2005, authored the first comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations while serving as an advisor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Zeid is also a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights, founded by Nelson Mandela. Zeid holds a PhD from Cambridge University and is currently a Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Suzman Episode 8 Guest

As CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman leads the organization in service of our mission – to help every person have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Knowing that we cannot achieve that mission alone, he brings a deep commitment to building partnerships and ensuring that the foundation's culture directly enables the impact we aspire to have. Mark serves as a member of the foundation’s board of trustees in his role as CEO. Mark's upbringing in apartheid South Africa instilled in him a desire to use the advantages afforded to him to help tackle injustice and inequality. He began his career doing that through journalism, writing for the Johannesburg Star and then the Financial Times, where he covered international trade policy, welfare reform, and political issues, including the historic 1994 election of Nelson Mandela. In 2000, Mark joined the United Nations, where he was part of the effort to implement the Millennium Development Goals under the leadership of then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He held multiple positions at the UN over his six-year tenure, including senior advisor for policy and strategic communications in the Office of the Secretary-General and policy director in the Office of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. Mark joined the foundation in 2007 as director of Global Development Policy, Advocacy, and Special Initiatives. Before becoming CEO, he served as managing director of Country Offices, president of Global Policy and Advocacy, and chief strategy officer. In these roles, he built and oversaw the development of the foundation’s offices in India, China, Africa, and Europe and managed the foundation’s relationships with the government, private philanthropists, and civil society. He also implemented a new system for how the foundation measures impact and manages tradeoffs across its strategic priorities. Mark holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He earned his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard University.

Alicia Bárcena Episode 8 Guest

Alicia Bárcena is the former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (2008-2022). She had previously served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Chef de Cabinet and Deputy Chef de Cabinet to the former Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan. Alicia Bárcena held the post of Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of ECLAC's Environment and Human Settlements Division. Before her time at ECLAC, Ms Bárcena served as Co-ordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Alicia Bárcena was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of the follow-up to the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Ms Bárcena has published numerous articles on sustainable development, public policy, environmental issues, and public participation. Alicia Bárcena holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, in Spanish), as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She has completed a Master's in Ecology and has initiated studies for a PhD degree in Economics at the UNAM. She has been awarded honoris causa doctorates from the University of Oslo, Norway, in September 2014, the University of Havana, Cuba, in March 2016, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in September 2019. In July 2015, she was appointed by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as extraordinary teacher to collaborate at the Economics School and other entities. On 1 October 2014, she received the medal 2013 in International Relations of the University of Anáhuac.