Lecture by ex-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan

   A report by Erich Kadlec

A delegation of the LAZARUS UNION attended a lecture by ex-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, who was the Secretary General from 1997-2006.

The President of the National Council, Barbara Prammer M.A., and the Austrian Society for Foreign Policy and the United Nations had been invited  to the former House of Representatives Chamber of the Parliament building for the lecture. Also present was the Federal President, Dr. Heinz Fischer, and high-ranking representatives from politics and diplomacy.

It was an impressive experience to be in the historic session hall of the former Imperial Council: Whose seat was that? What had gone on here? Where had former deputies thrown inkwells at their political opponents?

Kofi Annan gave a haunting plea for democracy, free elections and human rights – stressing that democracy is an ongoing process. In addition to peace and security, he said, a society must be built on the rule of law and human rights because everywhere democracy is a ‘work in progress’.

In addition, he called for a reform of the UN Security Council: that, for example, not a single African country orIndiais permanently represented on the Security Council can have no justification.

He went on to address the current situation in theUkraine: a situation which he said could become “much more serious”. His statement was unfortunately confirmed only a few hours later.

The Auditorium responded to his speech with appreciative applause. Then, with obvious pleasure, he answered many questions from the audience.

LAZARUS UNION participants were comrades Steinhardt, Ptak and Kadlec.