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The Book Signing Event - Interventions

A Life in War and Peace, Secretary General Kofi Annan

Report by E. Ablorh-Odjidja

What was on Secretary General Kofi Annan's mind when in December 2001 he said “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have entered the third millennium through a gate of fire"?


The answer is provided in his book, "Interventions,  a Life in War and Peace."


There was a book signing event at the auditorium of the Sixth & Eye St. Synagogue in Washington DC on September 5, 2012.  The event was promoted by the book seller Politics & Prose.


Mr. Annan was interviewed on stage by Mr. David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

Long before the auditorium doors were opened, there was a long line that led from the front of the center on "Eye" street to the side entrance on 6th street.

Mr. Kofi Annan was the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He received the Nobel Peace prize in 2001.

It has been some six years since Mr. Annan left office, but you wouldn't have known from the size of the attendance at this book signing.

The auditorium, which probably seats close to 1000 people or more, was filled to capacity. And, had the theater been larger, it still could have been filled from wall to wall as many people who wanted to attend couldn't because of capacity requirement.

The subjects discussed evolved on events in the book, gathered from personal experiences of Mr. Annan when he served on UN mission of interventions at troubled spots in the world..

The audience, by reaction, was not left in any doubt about how troubled the world was, and still is, when Mr. Annan spoke.

He commented on the wretchedness of the UN and the World's actions and inactions to the troubles in Somalia and Rwanda.

The UN, when it came to armed interventions, he said, was hamstrung. It had no standing force to meet the need for peace and not adequately structured to raise intervention forces in timely manner.

The troubles in Libya and Egypt were small when compared with what was taking place in Syria. Libya imploded but Syria could explode and the spread of the explosion would not only be felt in the Middle East but worldwide, Mr. Annan implied.

Mr. Annan responded to questions posed by Mr. Ignatius and others from the audience with candor.

But as much as the exchanges were very serious, the style would not have been Mr. Annan's had there not been some witty comments. You could tell that the humor was coming when a smile started spreading on Mr. Annan's face before his response to a question.

You also got a glimpse of the character that drove Mr. Annan through the ranks of the UN to the top as Secretary General. He was the first sub-Saharan African elected to the post. He served two consecutive terms from 1997 - 2006; a service of distinction that was to win him the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2001.

The book "Interventions" can be purchased on Amazon.com.

E. Ablorh-Odjidja
Publisher, Ghanadot.com
Washington, DC, September 06, 2012



Sec General Annan meets David Ignatius of the Washington Post











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