Prof. Ibrahim Gambari

United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa, 1999-present
Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, 1990-1999

21 March 2002

I have known Mr. Kofi Annan for over twelve years starting with the period when I served as Ambassador of Nigeria to the United Nations and he was Assistant Secretary-General at the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations and subsequently Secretary-General of the Organization. Since the last two years, I have also been privileged to serve as his Special Adviser on Africa and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. From these vantage points, I can say, without any equivocation, that Mr. Kofi Annan is an outstanding international civil servant, a great Secretary-General (whose qualities have been recognized by many, including the Nobel Prize Committee, which awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2001 to be shared with the United Nations Organization) and, above all, a wonderful human being. It is a great honour and unique privilege to serve the United Nations under his exemplary leadership."

Sri Chinmoy: As my highly esteemed friend, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, so proudly and wisely told me, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is a perfect stranger to anger. Forgiveness is his forte.