The Interview

Kofi Annan says ‘time has come’ for a woman to lead UN

Kofi Annan has played a part in some of the most significant events in recent history. Since leaving the UN, he has been an international mediator and a passionate advocate for issues close to his heart, such as poverty reduction, food security and the environment. It’s the last of those issues which brings him back home to Ghana as the keynote speaker at a conference called "Forests for the Future".

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He sat down with FRANCE 24's Katerina Vittozzi in Ghana to discuss deforestation and UN reform.

The former UN Secretary-General insisted on the necessity of reforming the UN Security Council. "The structure of the Council today is based on geopolitical realities of 1945. The world has changed and the UN has to change and adapt and move along with it. It is not justifiable that the four European countries on the Council have 80% of the voting capacity, and all the emerging countries - from India to Brazil and South Africa - have nothing. If they do not change and make space for them, sooner or later the primacy of the Council will be challenged", he explained.

Asked about the next leader of the UN, who will be chosen this year, Kofi Annan said: "After 70 years, the time has come that we see a woman secretary-general in the post. When she arrives, I trust the member states will support and work with her".

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