If a computer were to design the perfect U.N. Secretary-General, he or she would look sonething like this: African born; European and American educated, with decades of service in the U.N. system; married to a European; and possessing a quiet charisma and calm authority as chaos arises.

That the U.N. in 1996 found such a person to restore its sense of direction and purpose was a near miracle. But out of the U.N.’s failures in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda came Kopi Annan, the career international civil servant who had participated in these disasters yet somehow survived and learned from them.

Today Annan is in the middle of his second term. His task is not finished, and the U.N. is still far from what it should be. But Annan has tested the limits of the job, accumulating more authority-one cannot use the word power, given the constraints the U.N. system places on him-than any of his predecessors.

His complex relationship with the U.S. government is little understood. When Annan takes positions in public that are displeasing to the bush administration, it unleashes its attack dogs. Yet when administration officials found their policies in Iraq floundering, they asked the U.N. for help. Some observers told Annan that he should responsibility was to the cause of stabilizing Iraq. He began to work toward the decisive date of June 30, when the u.s. will hand over control to Iraqi authorities and an uncertain situation will prevail determined by factors way beyond his, or anyone else’s, ability to control. But it is Annan’s destiny to be handed the very worst problems after they have been unsuccessfully addressed by others. Anyone who knows him knows he wades into such problems with his usual blend of courage, self-control, modesty and optimism.





他与美国政府的复杂关系鲜为人知,当安南在公众面前的表现不能取悦布什政府的时候,美国就会攻击他。反过来,当美国政府官员发现他们的政策在伊拉克 举步维艰的时候,他们却向联合国寻求帮助。有些观察家建议安南不要帮助美国摆脱困境,但是安南明白,自己最大责任是促成伊拉克局势的稳定。他开始朝6月 30号这个决定性的日子努力,美国将会在这天向伊拉克政府移交政权,这将千万动荡局面。不管是安南瓦还是其他任何人,在伊拉克问题上的成功与否都不会取决 于他个人的控制能力。但是,安南注定要处理这些棘手的问题,而这些问题是由别人的失败造成的。所有熟悉安南的人都知道他将带着他一贯的勇气、自我控制能 力、谦恭和乐观来介入这一难题。