Kofi Annan tells SIPA, "You have the power" to affect the future.

Kofi Annan tells SIPA, “You have the power” to affect the future.

Midtown East, Manhattan
Baruch College  10/23/14

Around 70 SIPA UNSWG students attended Kofi Annan’s lecture “New World Disorder: Challenges for the UN in the 21st Century“, hosted by the Foreign Policy Association on Thursday evening.

The former UN Secretary General discussed the need for leadership with foresight, the challenges caused by globalization, and the necessity of international institutions that change as the world changes. Some memorable quotes:

“Democracy is not a panacea.”

“Afghanistan and Iraq have shown us the failure of military solutions. We cannot only have use of force, but use of force with coherent political strategy adapted to deeply fractured societies.”

“We need brave leaders who put the next generation ahead of the next election.”

He also mentioned the SIPA delegation in the beginning of his speech: “I just want to say how wonderful it is to see so many young people. I know SIPA sent a group of 90 students. Young people have the power to create impact.” We were all very excited about the recognition.

Former UNSG Annan also kindly agreed to take a group photo with the SIPA delegation. Afterward, he said to our group regarding the role young people can play in shaping the world, “I meant what I said: you have the power.”


We thank the Foreign Policy Association and Kristin Glaude for making the necessary arrangements for such a large delegation of SIPA students to be able to attend a high-demand event. We are also grateful to UNSWG faculty advisor Elisabeth Lindenmayer for connecting us to the former UN Secretary General. And we thank Kofi Annan himself for giving us his time and words of wisdom.