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Kofi Annan Meets with Hunter Students at Roosevelt House

On Tuesday, October 12th, the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College hosted a discussion with former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Hunter President Jennifer Raab introduced the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and spoke about the longstanding commitment Hunter College has had with the Roosevelt family and the United Nations, telling the audience that the first draft of the Declaration of Human Rights was written with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt on Hunter's Bronx Campus.

The discussion, "Conversations on Human Rights and International Justice" was moderated by Jonathan F. Fanton, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Visiting Fellow at Roosevelt House. Annan talked about advances in international justice and human rights, peacekeeping, and development in Africa during his tenure as Secretary- General. He also shared some amusing anecdotes, including a story about trying to avoid being recognized while on vacation in Africa. He didn't need to worry, he told the crowd, the locals mistook him for the actor Morgan Freeman.

Kofi AnnanThe program concluded with a Q & A, prompting many questions from the Hunter students in the audience. The questions ranged from LGBT rights to the war in Iraq to the idea that Michelle Bachelet, the new head of U.N. Women, could one day be U.N. Secretary-General. To this, Annan replied, “it will happen in the next decade or so.”

Annan also talked about what he has learned from the past and his hopes for the future. He spoke of his great faith in today's young leaders and the positive change they will bring about both politically and in the corporate world.


Published on October 20, 2010

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