After leaving the UN, Mr Boutros-Ghali served from 1998 to 2002 as secretary general of La Francophonie – a grouping of French-speaking nations. “His commitment to the United Nations – its mission and its staff – was unmistakable, and the mark he has left on the organization is indelible”.
That Boutros-Ghali was the only UN Secretary-General not to be reelected to a second term in office was not necessarily a minus. But Albright, in her last days as the American delegate, cast a decisive veto as one of the five permanent council members.
“His “Agenda for Peace” report made far-reaching proposals for fortifying this flagship United Nations activity, many of which have since become standard practice – but many of which also remain unfulfilled”, said Ban, who said peacekeeping helped Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique and other countries emerge from conflict during Boutros-Ghali’s tenure.
While there may have been a compelling argument to get rid of Boutros-Ghali 20 years ago, we ended up with Kofi Annan and the Oil for Food programme.
“Boutros Boutros Ghali will be remembered in history as the first Arab to lead the United Nations during a particularly hard period, full of challenges”. In those positions, Boutros-Ghali played a pivotal role in negotiating the peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt in March 1979, which also returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, a key Sadat goal.
At U.N. headquarters in NY and U.N. offices around the world, flags flew at half-staff in honour of the sixth U.N. secretary-general.
After a university career centred on global relations, including a spell at Columbia University in NY, he became Egypt’s foreign minister in 1977, under President Anwar Sadat.
The current president of the Security Council of the United Nations, the Venezuelan, Rafael Ramírez, announced the death of Boutros-Ghali this Tuesday, at the start of the session on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. It was a landmark contribution to the pursuit of world peace that reflected Boutros-Ghali’s intellectual background.
According to his official United Nations biography, he studied worldwide law, political science and economics at Cairo University, Paris University and New York/’s Columbia University (the latter as a Fulbright Scholar).
Under Mubarak, Boutros-Ghali was the architect of Egypt’s return to the center of affairs in the Organization of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. His father had been finance minister and his grandfather, a prime minister under the British, was assassinated in 1910.