|UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Nane Annan greet UN staff members at an event organized in their honour.|
By Anwulika Okafor
NEW YORK, USA, 20 December 2006 – At United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday, outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan was feted by staff members from various UN agencies to mark the end of his 10-year term.
Hundreds of staff members turned out to bid a final farewell to the Secretary-General and wife, Nane Annan, who has been a tireless advocate for many UN programmes – and for UNICEF in particular.
At the event, UNICEF New York Staff Association Chairperson Rita Wallace spoke warmly of Mr. Annan’s tenure.
|UNICEF New York Staff Association Chairperson Rita Wallace presents the Secretary-General with a plaque recognizing his service.|
‘Ideal of the international civil servant’
“In losing you,” she said, “we will be losing an irreplaceable champion for staff, and a shining, living, serving example of what can be accomplished by staff through hard work, dedication, drive and passion, such as you have displayed throughout your career.”
Ms. Wallace presented Mr. Annan with a plaque on behalf of the New York Staff Association and all UNICEF staff in honour of his service. The plaque was inscribed, in part: “As the first staff member to become Secretary-General, you embody the ideal of the international civil servant and emboldened and inspired the staff of the United Nations.”
Having started his UN career 42 years ago, Mr. Annan is the first UN staffer to attain the world body’s top post. He took the opportunity yesterday to thank all UN staff for their work and dedication, noting that it was important for the community at large to recognize the contributions they make.
|UN Secretary General Annan gives parting remarks to UN staff members.|
Thanks for good wishes
“I have often said that the UN staff and people in these agencies deserve our appreciation and thanks,” he said. “They serve in places where governments are afraid to send their troops and they really do a lot for the world.”
As they passed through the audience, the Secretary-General and Ms. Annan greeted as many staff members as they could, thanking them for the many good wishes they offered.
“Mr. Secretary-General, Mrs. Annan, goodbye and good luck,” Ms. Wallace said in closing.