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General News
Kofi Annan spells out goals 9/24/2007
The former United Nations secretary general outlines the aims of the newly created World Humanitarian Forum that he now heads

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan unveiled on Monday some of the objectives of the World Humanitarian Forum he helped found. The Geneva-based institution, financed by the Swiss federal government, aims to play a role in the prevention of humanitarian catastrophes, Annan said.

“Today, we are too preoccupied with reacting,” he told a press conference in Geneva. “A change in mentality is necessary.” It is not just necessary to aid victims but to also to do it in such a way that it leads to fewer catastrophes, added Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey on hand for the forum’s debut.

Annan is president of the new organization created in June with funding from the federal department of foreign affairs. Bern approved SFr1.3 million to launch the organization and will lend its financial support to its activities, Calmy-Rey said. Annan, 69, is a native of Ghana, educated in that country, the U.S. and in Geneva.

He served as secretary-general of the UN from 1997 to the end of 2006. Co-recipient of the Nobel Peace prize with the UN in 2001, he has recently made his home in the Geneva area. Reports have indicated that the WHF is loosely based on the World Economic Forum and is expected to bring together major world figures to discuss humanitarian issues.


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