Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a leader in the global arena – someone we trust to resolve the most challenging global issues? There’s no doubt it requires the usual – honesty, intelligence, and the ability to inspire and influence others. When I think of a global leader, I think of a person who embodies all of the characteristics listed above, but who is also passionate about global causes and so committed to achieving a peaceful world that it allows that leader to persevere even in the most trying situations.

Kofi Annan is an inspiring global expert who has his own idea of what is required to solve global problems. He says, “The key to successful mediation is having support from across the international system.”As the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan exemplified a great global leader – establishing the Global Fund, leading several successful mediations in Africa and the Middle East to combat terrorism and political unrest, and earning a Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Since the end of his two terms, he has remained very involved in the global community – most recently he was named the UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria in an effort to end the current violence and promote a peaceful resolution between the government and protesters.

Hear what Kofi Annan has to say about together and working with the UN to better the world. Also, check out more videos featuring our fellow UN Foundation board members and global thought leaders speaking about the importance of the United Nations, including:

Igor S. Ivanov

Igor S. Ivanov is currently a Professor at Moscow State Institute for International Relations. Previously, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 1998 to 2004, and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, from 2004 to 2007.

“Full participation with the UN is key in solving problems. The UN Foundation is the bridge between the UN and society.” – Igor Ivanov


Yuan Ming

Yuan Ming is currently the Director of the Institute of International Relations at Peking University. She fosters the next generation of global leaders and leads the Peking University Model UN program. Since 1995, she has conducted research at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia; the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She is a frequent traveler and speaker at many international gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Trilateral Commission and the Club of Rome.

“There should be more female leaders in all aspects of lives – not only politics. It is the UN Foundation’s job to educate people so we can all play a part in solving problems.” –Yuan Ming


Andrew Young

Andrew Young is currently the Chairman of Good Works International. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him as ambassador to the United Nations. He is ordained minister, international businessman, human rights activist, published author, and former public servant. He was a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia.

“It’s a dangerous world but it would be far more dangerous without the UN. Global problems can’t be handled alone. Ted Turner’s gift to the UN is one of the most valuable gifts ever given.” – Andrew Young


Everyone has a role to play in creating a safer, healthier, more prosperous world, including you! Let us know why supporting the UN’s work is important to you.