H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma

Deputy President of South Africa, 1999-present
Deputy President of the African National Congress, 1997-present

1 April 2002

It will be fitting to say we highly appreciate Mr. Kofi Annan's contribution as the Secretary-General of the United Nations at a time of the world's transition to becoming a real global village; at a time when humanity by and large speaks of democracy as the only way to handle the affairs of the world; at a time when the overwhelming majority of the human race accepts the question of human rights as the most noble element of human life; at a time when the issues of peace, security, stability and the need for economic growth to address the problems of the world are at the top of the agenda.

Given all of this, Kofi Annan is indeed, more than any other Secretary-General of the United Nations, the one who is leading the UN at a time when it is able to touch the lives of every citizen of the globe. We hope and trust that God will give him the energy, the power and the capacity to succeed in doing his all-important work for the overwhelming majority of people and particularly for the poor in the world.

It is with this in mind that we would like to pay tribute to the Secretary-General as the leader of such an important organization and to acknowledge the considerable contributions he has already made. It is true that many are born, but few are chosen to play specific critical roles in society. He is certainly among these rare and noble individuals.