Former prime minister Gordon Brown has paid tribute to Kofi Annan, who has died aged 80.Read the full story ›
The former PM says the ex-UN chief, whose death was announced on Saturday, will be greatly missed.Read the full story ›
The former secretary-general of the United Nations won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.Read the full story ›
Kofi Annan has said that developed countries had failed to respond to the crisis until it reached their shores.
The former UN secretary general told the BBC's Newsnight:
I am bitterly disappointed by the response. I am disappointed in the international community for not moving faster. In this world we are in it together.
If the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently. In fact when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe. And yet we should have known that in this interconnected world it was only a matter of time.
I point the finger of blame at the governments with capacity ... I think there's enough blame to go around. The African countries in the region could have done a bit more, they could have asked for help much faster and the international community could have organised ourselves in a much better way to offer assistance. We didn't need to take months to do what we are doing today.
Kofi Annan also told The Times (£) that the former Prime Minister failed to live up to early expectations during his time in power to the point in 2006, when he could no longer "act as a credible mediator” in international affairs.
He told the newspaper:
Blair had the potential to be one of the most brilliant politicians of his time and really for a period was a star. And now you ask me the questions, ‘What went wrong? What changed him?’ It is very difficult to say.
Tony Blair was the only man with the power to stop President Bush from invading Iraq in 2003, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has claimed.
Mr Annan said unlike himself and then US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mr Blair had the ear of President Bush ahead of the war and could have acted.
Speaking to The Times (£), he said: "I think I will for ever wonder what would have happened if, without a second [UN] resolution ... Blair had said 'George, this is where we part company. You’re on your own."
Mr Annan added: "I really think it could have stopped the war ... It would have given the Americans a pause. It would have given them a very serious pause to think it through ... All this would have raised a question: ‘Do we go this alone?’"
International peace envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus for talks with President Bashar al-Assad, his spokesman said.
It comes a day after the international peace envoy admitted that his peace plan had so far failed to end 16 months of bloodshed.
UN and government sources said Annan and Assad would not meet tonight.
The UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has said he is "optimistic" that the meeting of world leaders in Geneva on Saturday will produce an acceptable outcome.
Mr Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters TV that "talks are on course" and a preparatory meeting will be held in Geneva on Friday.
Kofi Annan said he was "frustrated and impatient" over the continued violence and killing in Syria, and said he wanted to see faster progress towards resolving the crisis.
Following talks in Beirut with Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati, he said:
I think perhaps I am more frustrated than most of you because I am in the thick of this. I want to see things move faster.
Countries from Australia to the UK have expelled Syrian diplomats in a coordinated move to step up pressure against the regime.Read the full story ›