Before becoming an Atlas Corps Fellow, I worked as a research assistant for a human rights professor at Duke. During the last semester of 2011, my job was to support her in guiding students to write their papers about the Arab Spring and the Responsibility to Protect.

Yesterday, soon after I arrived home, I saw on the news that Kofi Annan was stepping down from his post as the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria.

I have been following his footsteps in his attempt to bring peace and reconciliation to that country. I admire his leadership skills and goodwill, as I heard great stories from many of my friends who had the chance to work for him.

Yesterday, as I read his statement to the Financial Times, I thought: “If he is giving up, what good can happen now?”

In his own words: “The greater focus, however, must be on measures and structures to secure a  peaceful long-term transition to avoid a chaotic collapse. This is the most  serious issue. The international community must shoulder its share of  responsibility.

None of this is possible, however, without genuine compromise on all sides.  The stalemate means that everyone must shift: the government, opposition,  international as well as regional powers. In this way, the international  community can unlock an essential condition for a political process – a united  international community, effectively and actively supportive of a peaceful  transition to legitimate government.”

This makes me wonder how international nonprofits will respond to the call.


For more information, please refer to his letter to the Financial Times:

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