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Former Secretary-General of the UN and Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation.
We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with The Wilberforce Lecture Trust and Hull City Council and honoured to join them in welcoming this extraordinary guest to the city to deliver this year’s annual Wilberforce Lecture.
The annual Wilberforce Lecture was established in Hull in the early 1990s in what seemed then, briefly as it turned out, an optimistic time for the world with dictatorships collapsing across the globe. The purpose was, at a local level, to enhance knowledge and understanding about the benefits of democracy and the acceptance of human rights and highlight their abuse.
From a small initial event, the Trust has gone on to attract Nobel Laureates and Government Ministers as well as some of the unsung heroes of conflicts such as the civil war in Sierra Leone to speak about their experiences, their fears and their hopes and aspirations for the future.
The Trust’s focus has very much been on the developing world, highlighting Africa and Asia, building on Hull’s historic connections, particularly with the former Continent and the outstanding legacy of William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement he did so much to further.
Kofi Annan, the founding chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and was the Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006. With the Foundation, Kofi Annan seeks to mobilise political will to overcome threats to the three pillars on which the Foundation rests: peace, development and human rights.
“The Foundation believes that there can be no long-term peace without development; that there can be no long-term development without security; and that no society can long remain prosperous without respect for human rights and the rule of law.”
As this year marks 10 years since the beginning of the Freedom Festival, what better way for us to acknowledge and celebrate the work of William Wilberforce than by welcoming Mr Kofi Annan to present the Wilberforce Lecture for the people of Hull.