Farewell Speech:

Farewell Speech of Kofi Annan, UN previous Secretary-General.

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
Today I want to talk to you about five lessons which I learned in the 10 years during which I had the difficult...job of the secretary-general.
You will see that every one of my five lessons brings me to the conclusion that...leadership is no less...needed now than it was 60 years ago. 

My first lesson is that in today's world security of every one of us is linked to that of everyone else. ...Security for some could never come or be achieved at the expense of insecurity for others. ...Security must be collective and indivisible.

And I would add that this responsibility is not simply a matter of states being ready to come to each other's aid when attacked. ... It also includes our shared responsibility to protect populations from genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity...

My second lesson is that we are not only responsible for each other's security, but we are also responsible for each other's welfare. Global solidarity is both necessary and possible.

It is necessary because without solidarity no society can be truly stable, and no one's prosperity truly secure. It is not realistic to think that some people can go on deriving great benefits from globalisation while billions of their fellow human beings are left in abject poverty, or even thrown into it. We have to give our fellow citizens, not only within each nation but in the global community, at least a chance to share in our prosperity...

My third lesson is that...development...depends on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Our world continues to be divided not only by economic differences, but also by religion and culture. That is not in itself a problem. Throughout history human life has been enriched by diversity, and different communities have learnt from each other. But if our different communities are to live together in peace we must stress also what unites us: our common humanity, and our shared belief that human dignity and rights should be protected by law...

My fourth lesson...closely related to the last one...is that governments must be accountable for their actions in the international arena, as well as in the domestic one.

Today the actions of one state can often have a decisive effect on the lives of people in other states. (So) powerful states (have) a special responsibility to take account of global views and interests, as well as national ones. And today they need to take into account also the views of what we call "non-state actors". I mean commercial corporations, charities and pressure groups, labour unions, philanthropic foundations, universities- all the myriad forms in which people come together voluntarily to think about, or try to change, the world.

My fifth and final lesson derives certainly from those other four. We can only do all these things by working together through a multilateral system, and by making the best possible use of the unique instrument (we have), namely the United Nations.

My friends, we have achieved much since 1945, when the United Nations was established. But much remains to be done to put those five principles into practice.
Thank you very much.


 expense: If you do one thing at the expense of another, doing the first thing harms the second thing. synonyms: at the price of; at the cost of.

 indivisible: not able to be separated from something else or into different parts.

 genocide: the murder of a whole group of people, especially a whole nation, race or religious group.

 ethnic: of a national or racial group of people.

 cleansing: describes something that cleans or is used for cleaning.

 derive: get something from something else.

 abject: extreme and without hope.

 stress: emphasize: give emphasis or special importance to something.

 accountable: completely responsible.

 arena: a large flat area surrounded by seats used for sports or entertainment.

 domestic: relating to a person's own country.

 take into account: (Also take account of) to consider or remember when judging a situation.

 philanthropic: helping poor people, especially by giving them money.

 myriad /ˈmɪr.i.əd/: a very large number of something.

 multilateral: involving more than two groups or countries.

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