The Profiles in Courage Award 1999.
For the year 1999 The Kennedy Society of Denmark has decided to present
John F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" as an award to Secretary-General
of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan,
for the courage he has shown, in the tradition of Dag Hammerskjöld, and
also of John and Robert F. Kennedy, in working for both peace and human rights.
He has consistently shown hope and faith that one man can make a difference.
Under his aim of creating lasting will to support the United Nations, he has
shown compassion for those in distress around the world.
On 2nd June, 1997 he spoke to OAU in Harare: "Human rights are African
rights. They are Asian rights, European and American rights." In preference
to the use of military might he said on 1st September, 1997 in Copenhagen. "I
wish to propose a different view. That these failures, these wars, these problems
are political and economic problems with political and economic solutions."
And on 24th March, 1999 - "at a grave moment" - he also said:
"... As Secretary-General I have many times pointed out, not just in relation
to Kosovo, that under the Charter the Security Council has primary responsibility
for maintaining international peace and security -- and this is explicitly acknowledged
in the North Atlantic Treaty. Therefore the Council should be involved in any
decision to resort to the use of force."
- At the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on 16th March,
1998 he said: "We should now push for the ratification of human rights
treaties to make human rights legally binding the world over... Today's human
rights violations are the causes of tomorrow's conflicts. This vicious circle
of violations and conflict, leading to new violations, can and must be stopped...
Now is the time to ask not only how the Declaration can protect our rights,
but how we can rightly protect the Declaration." At the same place he said
on 7th April, 1999: "We cannot accept a situation where people are brutalized
behind national boundaries."
- At Macalester College in Minnesota he said on 18th May, 1998: "Courage
does not mean lack of fear, for only the foolish are fearless; it means doing
things in spite of your fear. Confront those fears, take risks for what you
believe... go out and make your difference in this world."
On 26th April, 1999 in Berlin he concluded: "If the United Nations is sidelined,
that is only because its Member States are not making full use of it."