Annan to speak

Nobel Prize winner Kofi Annan will speak at Penn’s 249th Commencement ceremony May 16.

Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, has found himself at the center of some of the modern world’s most pressing crises—from weapons searches in Iraq to efforts to the promotion of civilian rule in Nigeria to the ongoing Israel-Palestine peace process—and his vast experience makes him an outstanding choice to speak to Penn graduates, Penn President Amy Gutmann said.

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his efforts to revitalize the U.N. In recent years Annan helped forge an agreement between Libya and the U.N.

Security Council over the tragic Lockerbie air disaster and was a major force in gaining international attention to the violence that wracked East Timor in 1999. Just this month, Annan proposed a massive overhaul of the U.N. human rights commission, widespread debt relief for developing countries, new rules for the use of force and the adoption of a new anti-terrorism treaty to punish suicide bombers.

Originally published on March 31, 2005