Nelson Mandela, first president of a democratic South Africa, wanted human rights to guide the country’s foreign policy.
Hamish Blair/Getty Images
South Africa frequently invokes its celebrated constitution that is based on human rights, but has often failed to live up to its ideals.
A United Nations staff member pays tribute to Kofi Annan during a ceremony at the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.
EPA-EFE/ Salvatore Di Nolfi
Kofi Annan and John McCain’s positive eulogies could be because both men seized moments of human dignity and decency.
EPA-EFE/ Fredrik Persson
Kofi Annan’s tenure began after the reintroduction of two important international security lexicons – peacebuilding and human security.
Kofi Annan in 2009.
World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons
While his appointment as UN Secretary-General was a huge breakthrough, Kofi Annan also led the organisation through some of its ugliest moments.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
He left an enduring legacy of embedding democracy and involving civil society in the pursuit of peace.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan left a mixed legacy.
Kofi Annan was the first UN employee to rise to the position of Secretary General but his tenure also had a darker side.
Workers at the Dangote cement mine in central Nigeria. Africa’s industrial policy favours big companies, not small.
The problem with Africa’s model of industrial growth is that it privileges the formal at the expense of the informal and big corporations at the expense of small businesses.
The United Nations Security Council sits for a high level meeting on Syria.
The UN has adopted a more transparent process to select its new Secretary General. But it does not go far enough.
Low carbon choices such as solar power are essential for the African continent, if it intends to stop the harmful global warming effects.
For the sake of mitigating climate change, the African continent needs to make low carbon energy choices.
Improving maternal mortality and ending preventable deaths in children are some of the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr
Health has secured its place as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But without clear mechanisms to report, finance or engage other sectors, could more end up as less?
Kofi Annan’s plan for troubled Syria has limited prospects.
The conflict in Syria has often assumed the ominous characteristic of being insoluble or endless. The government and its various opponents have shown little interest in compromise. The Assad regime’s increasingly…