Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm


2001: UN and Annan win Nobel Peace Prize.
2002: UN Earth Summit held in Johannesburg.
2002: East Timor gains independence.
2002: UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq.

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The Security Council imposes "smart sanctions" on Liberia for fuelling the civil war in Sierra Leone with illegal 'arms-for-diamonds' trade. The civil war between the government and rebels, backed by neighboring Liberia, is marked by atrocities -- such as hacking off the limbs of civilians and kidnapping children to fight as soldiers. The UN first deployed peacekeepers in 1998 to monitor the peace accord and disarm and reintegrate combatants. In May 2002, the first peaceful elections are held since the 10-year civil war ended and the government sets up a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the atrocities and promote healing.

Learn more: NPR Talk of the Nation
A report on Africa's blood diamonds trade
Children of different races UN conference against racism is held in Durban, South Africa. The largest conference on racism closes with a global plan to fight discrimination but verges on collapse over two main obstacles: the Middle East and how to deal with the legacy of slavery. Slavery is recognized as a "crime against humanity" but the US and Israel walk out in protest at language equating Zionism with racism.

Learn more: UN World Conference against Racism
The official site

Learn more: NPR NPR Special Report
Complete broadcast archive
Annan addresses the General Assembly The UN responds to Sept. 11 attacks. Annan addresses the General Assembly and calls for "immediate, practical, and far-reaching changes" in the way the UN and its member states act against terrorism. The Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee is formed.

Learn more: UN UN Action Against Terrorism
Find out what the UN is doing against this global threat.

Learn more: UN Online NewsHour
An overview of responses to Sept. 11
Annan accepts the Nobel Peace Prize The United Nations and the Secretary-General win the Nobel Peace Prize. Annan is the UN's second Secretary-General to receive the honor, after. Dag Hammarskjöld, who won it posthumously in 1961. The Nobel Committee cites work for a better organized, more peaceful world and states, "the only negotiable route to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations."

Learn more: UN Annan's Nobel Prize speech
The full text of the Secretary-General's Dec. 10, 2001 lecture
A peace accord is signed in Angola following the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, ending 27 years of conflict.

Learn more: UN Weekend Edition
Angola after Savimbi

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