Kofi Annan: "Interventions: A Life in War and Peace" | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Kofi Annan: "Interventions: A Life in War and Peace"

Kofi Annan served two terms as secretary-general to the United Nations beginning in 1997. He was the first sub-Saharan African to lead the international body. In March he stepped out of retirement to take on what many called "mission impossible" -- trying to resolve the conflict in Syria. But his six-point peace plan fell apart and he resigned as special envoy last month. In a new book, Kofi Annan reflects on his successes and failures during 40 years with the U.N. and argues for the U.N.'s continued relevance in the 21st century.

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Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary-general and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, talked about how his childhood and family background prepared him for a life of diplomacy. Annan said he realized political change was possible while growing up in Ghana during the country's independence movement. He described his father as strict and stoic. "[He] stressed character," Annan said about his father. "That character trumped everything. That you had to know what is right and what is wrong."

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Excerpted from INTERVENTIONS by Kofi Annan with Nader Mousavizadeh. Reprinted by arrangement with The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) Kofi A. Annan, 2012.

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