Thursday, June 26, 2008

Global humanitarian forum in works - Kofi Annan - Reuters - 17th April 2007

HOUSTON, April 16 (Reuters) - Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Monday he may have a new job soon.

He said he was involved in discussions to create a Switzerland-based global forum to discuss and improve humanitarian assistance.

"There is a discussion going on about this type of issue, a global humanitarian forum, working with the Swiss government, that will bring together once a year major players in the humanitarian world," Annan told reporters before a speech to the Brilliant Lecture Series of Houston.

Participants would "discuss visions on humanitarian assistance, humanitarian intervention" and share "experiences on how we've dealt with the mega-disasters from tsunami to Katrina to the Asian earthquake and, really, pool our efforts to have greater impact on these disasters," said the 69-year-old native of Ghana.

Recent news reports from Switzerland have said Annan, who left his U.N. post at the end of 2006, would head the organization and that it would be modeled after the World Economic Forum that brings together major financial figures each year in Davos, Switzerland.

He did not discuss the project in detail but said planning was moving along.

"It's pretty advanced but the formal announcement hasn't been made," Annan said.

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