The founder and President of Challenging Heights, James Kofi Annan, has been appointed a Global Financial Sector Commissioner on Modern Slavery.
The Global Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking was established by the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein and Muhammad Yunu, the founder of the Grameen Bank and a Nobel Prize Laureate, with the support of the United Nations University in New York.
The Financial Sector Commission will work over the next year to think about the roles that the global financial sector can play in addressing these terrible forms of exploitation.
In appointing James, the Commission considered his longstanding global leadership in the area of human trafficking, and his previous experience as a banker.
Other commissioners include representatives from the financial industry, global financial regulators, development banks, institutional investors, hedge funds, the UN, and civil society.
In an interview with reporters, James said “I have been part of many global initiatives, and I am excited that this appointment as a Financial Sector Commissioner is another unique opportunity to increase my impact in the global space”.
James Kofi Annan is a well sought after international speaker in the area of modern slavery. He is currently a member of many international boards, including the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS), based in Washington, and he is currently the Chairman for a London-based international organization called Family for Every Child.
The Global Financial Sector Commission will hold its first consultative meeting in New York this September, where James is expected to attend.
The Commission has again nominated James to participate as a panelist in the public launch event of the Financial Sector Commission, which will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York.
This event will be held in the margins of the High-Level Week of the UN General Assembly, which brings together heads of state, ministers, the private sector, civil society, and the UN.
The Foreign Ministers of Australia and Liechtenstein will provide opening remarks for this event.
James Kofi Annan, who previously worked with Barclays Bank of Ghana, founded Challenging Heights 13 years ago. The organization has rescued hundreds of children from modern slavery, and supported several women and youth out of poverty situations.
James has won 14 major international awards, including the World Children’s Prize, and the Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize.