Kofi Annan joins LKY school

FORMER United Nations chief Kofi Annan will be based at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy as a professor from next February.

The 71-year-old, who served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2007, will be the first Li Ka Shing professor at the school, dean Kishore Mahbubani announced on Wednesday night.

He also said that the school will launch its first Chinese-language programme next year – a master’s programme in public administration and management targeted at senior Chinese government officials.

Professor Mahbubani made the announcements at a gala dinner marking the fifth anniversary of the school, an autonomous graduate school of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Mr Annan and the UN jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for working for human rights and to defuse global conflicts.

Theprofessorship was established in the name of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, who donated $100million to the school’s endowment fund in March 2007.

Speaking to 800 guests, including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Cabinet ministers and business leaders, Prof Mahbubani said the new master’s programme in Chinese would be launched next March.

To be conducted by the Lee Kuan Yew School and the NUS Business School, the 10-month programme will provide senior Chinese officials with ‘first-rate public administration and business management education to develop public sector leadership’.

In his update on the school’s progress since it was set up in 2004, Prof Mahbubani said enrolment had grown from 40 students from a handful of countries, to today’s 353 students from 53 countries and territories.

From just two master’s programmes, the school has also expanded to a PhD programme and three master’s programmes. It had no research centres back then, but now has five.

Read the full story in Thursday’s edition of The Straits Times.

I’ve always respected Mr. Annan. A great Secretary General for the United Nations and he always knew when to wield a stick and dangle a carrot. Though sometimes maligned for his straight forward style, he got things done, he had a vision and he did all that he could to move the frequently slow and difficult institution that is the United Nations forward. That his legacy is the Millenium Development Goals is something that I’m glad of. It’s too bad that it wasn’t likely that they’d renew Annan’s mandate even if they wanted to, given how much he was a bold and cutting voice in the world of diplomacy, but it is a testament, that his stint as Sec-Gen was not a light weight one.

Taken From – http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_424801.html (Link probably dead after a while)

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