The Negotiators: Annan’s aide in the talks, Meredith Preston McGhie, describes how the diplomat negotiated a power-sharing agreement.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died in 2018, was one of the most famous diplomats of his time. On today’s episode of The Negotiators, we hear about Annan’s mediation of a Kenyan political crisis in 2008—which stands out as one of his most impressive acts of diplomacy.
A disputed election in December 2007 spurred violence and displacement across Kenya. A number of diplomats tried to mediate an end to the conflict. But ultimately, Annan along with human rights advocate and former South African first lady Graça Machel and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa were asked to negotiate an end to the violence and a peaceful transition of power.
Meredith Preston McGhie was an aide to Annan during this mediation. She was also the Africa director at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. She describes how Annan approached the negotiations, including garnering Kenyan and international support for the process. McGhie, currently the secretary-general for the Global Centre for Pluralism, told her story to our senior producer Laura Rosbrow-Telem. The Negotiators is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.
About The Negotiators: Conflicts don’t just get resolved on their own. Most are settled through a grueling process of give and take, usually behind closed doors. On the podcast The Negotiators, Foreign Policy is teaming up with Doha Debates to put listeners in the room. Hosted by FP deputy editor Jenn Williams, each episode features one mediator, diplomat, or troubleshooter, describing one dramatic negotiation. You’ll hear about a nuclear standoff, a hostage crisis, a gang mediation, and much more: successes and failures that shaped people’s lives. See All Episodes
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Select Awards for The Negotiators:
- 2023 Signal Award; Gold; News & Politics Episode
- 2023 Shorty Award; Silver; News & Politics Series
- Runner up for 2023 International Women's Podcast Awards