Mr. Kofi Annan of Ghana was the seventh Secretary‑General of the United Nations (1997 to 2006). A United Nations veteran, he was the first to make the transition from the ranks of United Nations staff to become the Organization’s Secretary-General, having been initially employed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1962, transferring to the Secretariat, and working his way up through various positions and diverse functions.
The important positions he occupied include the post of Deputy Director to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)(1980-83) and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping (1995-96) during a very turbulent period in world history. Notable events included the transfer of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia from United Nations' control to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Rwandan genocide. As Secretary-General, he led the initiation of major administrative reforms and several global development strategies including the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Compact with the private sector on responsible business practice. In 2001, he received the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations for their work in global peace and international cooperation.
This interview took place in May 2000, around the mid-term of his first term as Secretary-General. It is based on his role and views on a variety of important global issues, including peacekeeping, the first Gulf War and Iraq—economic sanctions, human rights, negotiations with the United Nations, inspections for weapons of mass destruction, United Nations Security Council resolutions 1284 (S/RES/1284(1999)) and 687 (S/RES/687(1991)), United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM).