Macalester grad, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan talks politics, books in St. Paul

Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations, on May 7, 2018, speaks at a reception celebrating the 30th anniversary of Books for Africa, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that collects and ships books to that continent. (Nick Woltman / Pioneer Press)
Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations, on May 7, 2018, speaks at a reception celebrating the 30th anniversary of Books for Africa, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that collects and ships books to that continent. (Nick Woltman / Pioneer Press)

Decrying a recent trend toward authoritarianism in western politics, Kofi Annan on Monday afternoon urged mainstream politicians “to stop thinking of the next election and think of the next generation.”

The former secretary-general of the United Nations was the keynote speaker at a reception celebrating the 30th anniversary of Books for Africa, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that collects and ships books to that continent.

Annan attended the event at the University Club with his wife, Nane Annan, and former vice president Walter Mondale.

“People will tell you that democracy is receding and we are seeing autocrats come into…

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