Former UN chief- Boutros Boutros-Ghali dies at 93
Former UN Secretary General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali breathed his last on 16 December, at the age of 93. The BBC reported that he died in a Cairo hospital after he was admitted for a broken pelvis. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon praised him as a 'respected statesman' and a 'memorable leader' who contributed immensely to creating world peace and maintaining international order.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the first African, the first Arab and the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose term started in 1992. Before his UN term, he served as Egypt's State Foreign Affairs Minister from 1977-91 and was then appointed as the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt. His grandfather, Boutros-Ghali was Egypt's Prime Minister from 1908-10.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, being an experienced official helped negotiate Egypt's historic Camp David peace deal with Israel.
After the election, Boutros-Ghali presented a suggestion for how the UN could respond to violent conflicts, called 'An Agenda for Peace'. His UN term was controversial as he was criticized by many for the UN's failure to deal with the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, the Angolan Civil War, Somalian wars and the Yugoslavian wars. Several UN member states formally registered complaints during this period.
Linda Melvern, an investigative journalist, accused Boutros-Ghali of making a $26 million secret arms deal with the Rwandan government during his term as Egypt's Foreign Minister. The weapons were eventually used for the genocide.
Ghali's leadership angered the US as the Battle of Mogadishu and Yugoslavia's disintegration highlighted failures of US foreign policy. Towards the end of his term, ten members of the Security Council led by three African countries supported a resolution endorsing Boutros Boutros Ghali's second term till 2001. But, the United States vetoed his second term, supported by the United Kingdom, South Korea and Italy.
Kofi Annan, a diplomat of Ghana succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the UN as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1997. He was elected to a second term which lasted till 2006.
Boutros-Ghali served La Francophonie as Secretary General from 1997-2002, and in 2003, he chaired the board of South Centre, an intergovernmental organization. From 2003-2012, he was the Director of Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. He also supported the campaign for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. He was on the jury for the Conflict Prevention Prize awarded by the Fondation Chirac.