The Kofi Annan Living Memorial
‘Kofi Annan was the United Nations, the United Nations was Kofi Annan‘ – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres eulogising the late Secretary General at his funeral in Ghana – August 2018
The establishment process of the Kofi Annan Living Memorial was formally launched as part of the UN Day observation on 24 October 2018 at the UN House (Liberia) by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elias Shoniyan, in the name of, and on behalf of Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah, who was himself present at the launch with the rest of Diplomatic Corps and Government Officials.
The Kofi Annan Living Memorial that is being established is based on the model of the Dag Hammarskjold Living Memorial Initiative in Zambia.
Liberia, a post-conflict country that benefitted from the largest UN Peace Keeping Force under the Secretary General-ship of the late Kofi Annan, is grateful for the critical role he played for saving the nation from self-destruction and bringing it back into the Comity of nations.
Additionally, the already long established Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (at the University of Liberia) created by an Act of the Liberian Legislature and named in honour of the late Secretary General, since 2006 when he was on a farewell visit to Liberia (and received the nation’s highest honour), together with the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security (ABIC) in Liberia will host and be the driving force for the establishment of this Living Memorial. It will generally take the model of the format in Zambia which serves as the host to the Dag Hammarskjold Living Memorial in concert with the UN System and the Government of Zambia.
As such, the Living Memorial is seen as yet another programme of the Kofi Annan’s Institute for Conflict Transformation, at the University of Liberia, being a partner with the ABIC and the UN System.
This living memorial is being established with Liberia in the lead because the government and people of Liberia remain perpetually grateful for the pivotal role the late Kofi Annan played to rescue Liberia from self-destruction and potential collapse.
In addition, the late Kofi Annan as a world leader and Africa’s gift to the world:
- Put human rights at the core of his mission and his work was recognized with the prestigious and well-deserving Nobel Peace Prize.
- As per his assertion, current UNSG “Kofi Annan was the United Nations, the UN was Kofi Annan”
- This establishment is a celebration of a “life well live” – President Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana’s tribute to Kofi Annan).
- In his lecture entitled “Dag Hammarskjold and the 21st Century”, in Uppsala, Sweden on 6 September 2001, on the occasion of the observation of the 40th Anniversary of the death of the UN Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan comment on the Dog Hanmarskjolo Living memorial:
“In Zambia too – which, as you know, where he actually died – Hammarskjold’s death is commemorated annually. The Zambian Government, together with your own, and the United Nations System, has launched a ‘Living Memorial’, which includes a programme to educate young Africans as ‘Messengers of Peace’, as well as a Centre for Peace, Good Governance and Human Rights. There could be no better way to commemorate him than promoting these ideals, which he held so dear”.
- Eighteen years later, it is time to say “there can be no better way to commemorate Dr. Kofi Annan than promoting the ideals which he held so dear”.
The Kofi Annan Living Memorial is an initiative of the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security; in association with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (University of Liberia), the Dag Hammarskjold Living Memorial Initiative (Zambia), the United Nations Country Team (Liberia) and Government of Liberia