Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world." He is the Chairman of The Elders, a group founded by Nelson Mandela.
From 23 February until 31 August 2012, Annan was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to ongoing conflict there. Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN's lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution, stating that "when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council". He has been involved in several humanitarian projects and won several awards including the Kora All Africa Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.