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Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan speaks at Saint Xavier University Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009

Voices & Visions Speaker Series

Chicago (April 30, 2009) Tickets go on sale soon to see Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan as the fourth speaker in the highly successful SXU Voices & Visions Speaker Series at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Annan will speak at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17.

Annan will present “The Five Rules of International Diplomacy,” a call for multilateralism and a renewed faith in a global approach to tackling the world’s problems.

Prior to his lecture, Annan will conduct a special classroom discussion with Saint Xavier students.

“We are very pleased that Former Secretary General Annan continues our tradition of bringing the best of international figures to the Chicago area,” said Robert Tenczar, vice president for University Relations. “Mr. Annan is an ideal interpreter for our times and will undoubtedly provide a uniquely informed perspective as America works with other countries to meet the world’s challenges.”

Annan served as United Nations Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006. During his tenure, he made his mark as an advocate for human rights, the rule of law and the revitalization of the United Nations. He has been a key figure in the fight against HIV/AIDS and a leader of the multilateral response to the global terrorist threat.

When elected to the Secretary-Generalship in 1997, Annan became the first Secretary-General to come directly from the United Nations staff, and the first from a black African nation to hold the position.

As Secretary-General, Annan worked to bolster the United Nation’s relationship with businesses and civil society groups, sponsoring a Global Compact initiative to promote corporate social responsibility. He was instrumental in laying out the Millennium Development Goals, a strategy to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by 2015. In 2005, Annan succeeded in persuading the United Nations to establish the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council, new intergovernmental bodies dedicated to global peace and welfare. Annan was also a chief proponent of the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. On Dec. 10, 2001, Annan and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Since leaving the United Nations, Annan has continued to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly in Africa. He has also continued to use his experience to mediate and resolve conflict. In Kenya in early 2008, Annan led the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities to help find a peaceful resolution to the post-election violence. The event is sponsored by the Office for University Relations and in part by the Student Activities Board.

For more information about the event, please call (773) 298-3311 or e-mail specialevents@sxu.edu. Reporters interested in covering Annan’s lecture or taking advantage of a special media opportunity the day of the lecture should contact Director of Media Relations Joe Moore at (773) 298-3937 or (773) 203-6671 (cell).

-SXU-