With the recent death of former U.N. Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan, we look back to October 2010, when Hunter College had the great privilege of hosting him at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, where he was welcomed and introduced by Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab.
“I was very sad to hear about the passing of Kofi Annan,” said President Raab. “I recall with great joy the time he visited Roosevelt House for a discussion on human rights and international justice. True to his reputation, he was so gracious with our students and generous with his time and wisdom.”
During the discussion, Annan talked about advances in international justice and human rights, peacekeeping, and development in Africa during his tenure as Secretary-General. He also shared some amusing anecdotes, including a story about trying to avoid being recognized while on vacation in Africa. He didn’t need to worry, he told the crowd—the locals mistook him for the actor Morgan Freeman.
The program concluded with a Q & A, prompting many questions from the Hunter students in the audience. The questions ranged from LGBT rights, to the war in Iraq, to the idea that a woman would one day be U.N. Secretary-General. To this, Annan replied, “it will happen in the next decade or so.”
Annan also talked about his hopes for the future. He spoke of his great faith in today’s young leaders and the positive change they will bring about both politically and in the corporate world—a message that resonated with Hunter students who strive to embody the College’s motto: “Mihi Cura Futuri – The Care of the Future is Mine.”