| The December Issue of the United Nations International School Newsletter recognized its student for suggesting that the school establish an award to honor the UN legacy and UNIS connection of the late Secretary General Kofi Annan. Here is the acknowledgment from the High School Principal.|
[This year] as noted in my last newsletter, we are pleased to have the Kofi Annan Alumni Award being offered for the first time and we are currently receiving nominations.[…] our own Rea Kondi (T4) had raised the idea of granting an award in Mr. Annan’s name last year, when she was in T3. We are always proud of students, such as Rea, who show initiative in thinking of ways to embrace UNIS and the UN mission.
Nominations have been rolling in for UNIS alumni who you think deserve the Kofi Annan Award for Global Impact. How will we decide? We have put together an esteemed Selection Committee, consisting of successful alumni and former faculty who are committed to the betterment of our world. The selection committee will meet two to three times — in person and video-conferenced in, with consideration of global time zones — for 1-2 hour meetings to discuss and select awardee(s).Deadlines for nominations is January 17, 2020.
Last fall shortly after the passing of former Secretary General Kofi Annan, Rea suggested to the school’s administration and the student council to grant an award in his name. She was invited to give her remarks on UN day 2018:
TRIBUTE TO KOFI ANNAN ON UN DAY 2018
I am standing here today to present a tribute to the late UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan who passed away this summer. I would like to thank the student council, the T3 representatives, Ms. Neda and Ms. Bertrand for bringing this tribute to life. While the world community misses Kofi Annan’s wisdom and remembers his leadership, UNIS is the place where his ideals come together every day. The current Secretary General, Antonio Guterres conveyed the qualities of Annan as “an extraordinary leader” and “also a man that everyone in the world, even those living in extreme poverty, conflict and despondency, could see as an ally. Indeed he was relatable and was able to draw connections in order to focus the global conversation on larger issues. Just as an example, Mr. Annan compared the World Cup with the United Nations in terms of country members and working towards… a goal, pun intended! Also, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN, he courageously reflected on the criticism of his past mistakes and argued for changes to the International Law with regards to preventing future wars. One of his initiatives as the 7th Secretary General from 1997 to 2006 were the Millennium Development Goals, which were eight objectives advocating for the improvement of the lives of people living in developing countries. These were the predecessors of Sustainable Development Goals which we continue to follow today. Mr. Annan has an established connection with UNIS since he served as the Chair of the UNIS Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1995 and made an indelible mark on our school, firmly embedding its mission with the UN ideals. Speaking at the graduation ceremony to the class of 2006, Mr. Annan’s message was. “You must have the courage to believe that what you do really does make a difference. You are not in a “waiting period” — waiting to be leaders, waiting to make a difference. You matter now. You can make a difference now”.
Our message to you, Mr. Annan, is that we are prepared to fulfill your vision!