I hadn’t been to the UN complex in a while, so I decided today to swing by for lunch. I was hoping to pick up a copy of A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals from the UN bookshop, but they didn’t have it in yet. Mildly disappointed, I headed for the cafeteria, but then caught sight of a large crowd gathered in the lobby in front. I almost turned back, but then decided that as the crowd was outside, the cafeteria itself might not be completely swamped.
As I drew nearer, I noticed flashbulbs and lights and cameras, and then I caught sight of what was in the middle of it all: Kofi Annan, making some kind of presentation for International Women’s Day, speaking in his quiet voice so that it was hard to hear him even with the amplification. I only stayed for a few moments, but it was interesting just to stand nearby and see in person someone who I’ve seen so often on TV. He looked pretty much like he does on TV, but then I was never closer than about twenty feet. It is, to date, the closest I have ever been to a world leader, although I’m hoping this will change next fall, when President Roh Moo-hyun will be visiting. We’ll see whether I manage to get within twenty feet of him.
Also published on Medium.