Kumi Naidoo, new general director at Greenpeace

     |    Friday, der 4. December 2009

Photo source: Greenpeace



Greenpeace welcomes a new general director.  The 44 year old Kumi Naidoo, a South African of Indian heritage, took office in mid-November, 2009.  In 2005 Naidoo started the “Global Call to Action against Poverty”, an alliance of organizations from over 100 countries.

In South Africa, Kumi was active in the fight against apartheid. As a fourteen-year old, he joined the anti-apartheid movement and took part in student protests against racism. In the following years he was repeatedly a victim of civil racism. In 1986 went underground and eventually fled to England where he studied at and graduated from Oxford on Rhodes scholarship.

He was General Secretary at CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation. He was part of Greenpeace Africa’s management and was the chairman of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA).

As the Berlin daily newspaper the Tagesspiegel writes: “His efforts embody the connection between the fight against poverty, and ecoside: two themes that are becoming inseparable as global warming advances”.

Kumi Naidoo: “Political struggles are like marathons, they can last an entire lifetime. But with climate change we don’t even have the time of a half-marathon.” (DER SPIEGEL 49/2009)

Kumi Naidoo: ‘The struggle for human rights, justice and democracy is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. These struggles to make fundamental changes require perseverance, patience and courage.”

Kumi Naidoo: “History teaches us that real change only comes when good men and women are prepared to put their lives and personal safety on the line to advance the cause of justice, equity and peace..”)


“Civil society groups, both here and globally, need to put aside self-interest and find those intersections that mean we can act as a whole, not a series of very well-meaning but disconnected parts. Because if we don’t act together, then we have betrayed the people we believe we are here to help. And that is a big injustice in itself.”


„It is a disgrace that we still do not know who will come to the table and what they are prepared to do in order to transform the global system so it ensures the survival of our people and our planet. This is just one more sign of how afraid our political leadership appears to be of the decisions needed to create a more just and equitable world.“


Kumi Naidoo: „The mix of pragmatism and passion really gets things done and effects real change in the world. )