DUBLIN (AFP) — A US presidential poll victory for Barack Obama would be "phenomenal," former UN chief Kofi Annan said Thursday, adding that whoever wins needs to learn the lessons of the last eight years.
Speaking at a conference on hunger in Ireland, he underlined the need for the United States to work in "partnership" with the rest of the world.
When asked if the United States and the world was ready for a black US president, he said: "I think it would be a phenomenal change for the US and for the world.
"It would introduce a new dynamics (sic) and a new relationship between the US and the world. Whoever wins this presidency will have to come out prepared to work in partnership with the rest of the world," he told reporters.
And he added: "I think we have learned some lessons in the past eight years and I hope whoever wins will bear that in mind."
Annan, who was succeeded by South Korea's Ban Ki-moon last year, had sometimes strained relations with the US administration under President George W. Bush, notably over the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
Democratic hopeful Obama is currently leading opinion polls against Republican John McCain in the race for the US presidency, less than three weeks ahead of November 4 polls.
"We live in an inter-related world, we live in the same boat and we are facing problems that are so enormous that no one country, however powerful, can tackle them alone," said Annan.
"The only way we can be secure, safe and prosper together is by working together," he added, speaking at a Dublin conference to mark World Food Day.
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