Tribute to Kofi Annan (1938–2018)

Let me join the UN Secretary-General and all our colleagues around the world in expressing my heartfelt condolences to the wife and family of Kofi Annan, a great leader and visionary.

Among his many accomplishments as the UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006, Kofi Annan was also the founder of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact.

As the world embarked on the new Millennium, Mr. Annan inspired the world’s top business leaders to join governments in lifting the poorest nations out of poverty by adopting a more responsible and sustainable approach to business.

In creating the UN Global Compact, Mr. Annan asked corporate leaders to publicly commit to Ten Principles based on UN agreements in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Some 18 years later, the concept of corporate sustainability is firmly established. More than 9,000 of the world’s leading private sector Chief Executives have joined the UN Global Compact and are driving new approaches to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

As a result of Mr. Annan’s vision, the UN Global Compact is attracting new participants on a daily basis and providing corporate executives around the world with the inspiration and tools needed to drive a more sustainable and responsible business culture which can create prosperity while respecting people and the planet.

Let us all continue to celebrate and embrace the values that Kofi Annan stood for.

Warm regards,


Lise Kingo
CEO & Executive Director
United Nations Global Compact