Kofi Annan Visits Sesame Street

Published December 07, 2001

| Associated Press

If only all conflicts could be resolved so easily.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan taped an appearance for the children's television show Sesame Street Thursday, stepping in when Elmo and his friends argued over who would get to sing the alphabet song.

"Is there a problem I can help you with?" he asked.

"That depends," the fuzzy red puppet replied. "Who are you?"

Annan introduced himself, then suggested the puppet monsters sing the song together.

Annan said he agreed to appear on the show because "it is wonderful to be able to reach the young to try to give them the spirit of the United Nations." His taping came a few days before he was to accept the 100th Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10.

Michael Loman, Sesame Street's executive producer, said only two other major political figures had appeared on the show in recent years: first ladies Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton.

"One of the things that is truly unique about Sesame Street is that we teach children about inclusiveness ... so who better to illustrate that point than the secretary-general of the United Nations? That was an easy one," he said.

The show is to air after Feb. 4, but no date has been set.

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