A six-year joint CCNY-Yale University project led by Professor Jean Krasno culminated recently with the official publication of Kofi Annan
's collected papers. Krasno, the project's principle investigator, is the Center’s initiative director for multilateral diplomacy and international organizations. The collection, a five-volume set from Lynne Rienner Publishers,
contributes an organized historical record of selected public and declassified papers of the former UN secretary-general, and makes the breadth and depth of his work accessible to scholars, students, and policymakers.
A Pivotal Role
Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat, led the UN at the end of the Cold War (1997-2006), a very important period, notes Krasno, a faculty member of CCNY's international relations department and a distinguished fellow of international security studies at Yale University. He also holds a unique position because he established new expanded norms for the international community in terms of their role and responsibilities.
The papers reveal Annan's pivotal role in settling conflicts, Krasno adds. "The papers demonstrate Kofi Annan's unique ability to negotiate settlements and to find peaceful solutions in conflict situations," she says, "and they lead us to understand why he was selected as joint special envoy to Syria."
Focusing the World's Attention
The collection, Krasno says, further spotlights his leadership in focusing the world’s attention on the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as his evolving and increasingly concrete anti-poverty efforts, and his work to confront human-rights issues in Africa. Annan received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his role in establishing a global AIDS fund for developing countries.
Krasno says her respect for Annan led her to take on the project. Annan formally authorized the project, enabling access to papers that otherwise would have been locked up for 20 years in UN archives, in accordance with UN policy. The volumes include public public papers such as speeches and declassified internal notes between Kofi Annan and his advisers, as well as off-the-cuff encounters with the press.