Dr. Jean Krasno of The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York (CCNY) undertook a project to publish the collected papers of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who served two five-year terms, spanning ten years from January 1997 to December 2006. Under Dr. Krasno’s direction, the research team read all his papers in the public domain including speeches, remarks, press conferences, reports to the Security Council, noon briefings, statements, and also declassified papers released to the project by the UN to build a database for publication. A five-volume set of books in print was published by Lynne Rienner Publishers in 2012 entitled The Collected Papers of Kofi Annan: UN Secretary-General 1997-2006.

This digital compendium includes primarily the selected declassified papers previously unseen by the public in their original format—letterhead, handwritten notes, internal memos and so forth—as well as additional documents that did not appear in the books due to a lack of space. Moreover, this digital collection includes photographs from the UN Photo Library that illustrate Kofi Annan’s work as Secretary-General that were also not available for the print version.

Most aspects of the UN’s work and issues taken up by the Organization are reflected in letters from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) to heads of state, foreign ministers, and civil society. In addition, letters and memos between the UN departments and the Secretary-General reveal previously unseen recommendations and dialogues prior to final policy decisions. Global digital availability of the Secretary-General’s papers will make the work of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the United Nations more comprehensible to the public beyond the confines of the institution and will allow scholars, diplomats, and the general public to explore with more clarity the inner workings, not only of the Secretary-General’s office, but through his work, the UN’s departments and subsidiaries.

For access to the larger collection of nearly twenty-five hundred item, including more photographs and documents, please visit CCNY UN-Secretary General Papers: Kofi Annan (1997-2006) in JSTOR.