Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly named the winners of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking to United Nations staff after the announcement on October 12th, the Secretary General said: "All of us who work for the United Nations should be proud
today - but also be humbled, humbled because even more will be expected of us in the future."
Kofi Annan is 63, was born in Kumasi, Ghana, and educated there before attending both Harvard University and then Macalester College, Minnesota. He was later to receive a degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He joined the UN as an administrative and budget officer at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, then transferred to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, spending time in field offices around Africa. This followed a term at the UN's resource management office in New York, and a stint with the office of programme planning, budget and finance.
In 1993 he took over as head of the UN's peacekeeping department (first as assistant secretary-general in 1993-94, and later as under-secretary-general in 1994-96) at a time when the UN was despatching more and more peace-keepers to conflict regions of the world. It was on his watch that the genocide in Rwanda and the massacre at Stebrenica in Serbia took place.