Annan to give parting policy address, Nov. 28

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will deliver a major policy address Tuesday, Nov. 28, hosted by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. As part of the event, undergraduate students plan to present Annan with the Crystal Tiger award for serving as an "agent of progress."

Annan, who steps down as secretary-general in December, will highlight during his speech at 4:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, the dangers of global nuclear proliferation and the urgency of decisive moves toward general nuclear disarmament. According to the secretary-general's office, the speech will be the second of four public addresses Annan is using to present his parting thoughts to the international community after 10 years in office.

"We are honored that Kofi Annan will deliver such an important speech here at Princeton as he nears the end of his term as secretary-general," said Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. "He has demonstrated principled and determined leadership in the face of the world's most serious crises and ongoing challenges."

Annan will be the third recipient of the Crystal Tiger, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to "enriching the human experience and who have inspired students at Princeton to pursue the same goal," according to senior Cindy Chou of the Crystal Tiger award committee.

Annan, a native of Ghana, is the seventh secretary-general of the United Nations, having begun his first term in January 1997. His second term began on Jan. 1, 2002, and ends on Dec. 31 of this year. His priorities have included encouraging and advocating human rights; restoring public confidence in the United Nations; and strengthening the United Nations' work in the areas of development, international peace and security.

Addressing the issue of nuclear disarmament, Annan on Nov. 2 urged participants at the international seminar "Strengthening Global Disarmament and Nonproliferation" to seek solutions to the spread of nuclear weapons.

"A world without weapons of mass destruction remains a distant dream," Annan said in a seminar message released by the United Nations. "Yet, even the more immediate aims of nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation have suffered recent setbacks."

Annan's humanitarian work includes a 1998 report on "The Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa," which was among several efforts to maintain the international community's commitment to the most disadvantaged regions of the world.

Annan's first of four departure speeches focused on development and was given Nov. 16 at the Africa Development Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Two speeches in December will address human rights and global governance, while the Princeton talk is the peace-and-security speech, according to the secretary-general's office of communications.

Annan is expected to be sharply critical, both of those who make nonproliferation efforts conditional on nuclear disarmament, and of those who "seek to deny others the bomb while clinging to it themselves," a representative of the secretary-general's office said.

Tickets for Annan's Princeton address were offered to University students, faculty and staff via an online lottery system. A limited number of tickets will be made available to members of the general public at the Richardson box office from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. -- or until supplies last -- Monday, Nov. 27. One ticket will be allotted per person, and all individuals must bring a government-issued photo ID.

All ticket holders will be required to bring their picture ID to gain entry to the event. No umbrellas, cameras or backpacks will be allowed into the venue.

This event will be webcast live and will be simulcast in McCosh 10 and 50 and in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. No tickets are required for the simulcast locations.

Members of the news media wishing to attend the speech should e-mail, the University's Office of Communications, no later than noon Friday, Nov. 24. For security and accreditation purposes, journalists must list each member of the news organization hoping to attend.