Annan receives NUI honorary degree


An honorary degree from the National University of Ireland was conferred on the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, at a ceremony in Dublin Castle yesterday. The degree was conferred by Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Chancellor of the University, in St Patrick's Hall.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university and President of the University of Ireland, Maynooth, Dr W.J. Smyth, praised Mr Annan's contribution to peace. He said he had come to international prominence in 1990 in the release of the Western hostages in Iraq, and then the return of UN personnel and the safe passage of half-a-million Asian workers stranded in Kuwait.

Dr Smyth described Mr Annan as "a man of tenacious optimism and a person well able to harness the creative tensions inherent in an office that requires a balance between diplomacy and activism, between conciliation and active engagement."

Earlier yesterday Mr Annan placed a wreath in Kilmainham commemorating Irish soldiers who were killed on UN duty. The Last Post was played during the ceremony.

He also visited the President, Mrs McAleese, before meeting the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern.