CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali Passes Away in Cairo

Boutros Boutros-Ghali
(Photo : Naelachohanboutrosghali.jpg/Wikimedia/CC)
Former UN leader Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who served his five-year-term at the organization between 1992 and 1996, passed away in Cairo on February 16th.

Former UN Secretary-General and Egyptian veteran Boutros Boutros-Ghali passed away on February 16 at the age of 93 in Cairo.

His tenure at the United Nations from 1992 to 1996 was marked by major events and upheavals around the globe, which included genocide and famine in Africa and Balkan wars. It was also the era when the Cold War had just ended, paving the way for fundamental changes in the world's political dynamics.

The 15-member UN Security Council session kept a moment of silence in his honor on Tuesday.

According to the local newspapers, he was admitted to a hospital with a broken leg last week.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the former leader "brought formidable experience and intellectual power to the task of piloting the United Nations through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history."

In the statement published on the official UN website, Ban also mentioned Boutros-Ghali's landmark report, "An Agenda for Peace," which set guidelines for development and democratization, many of which are still in use by the UN. The proposals also suggested a course of action appropriate for the UN in conflict resolution and prevention.

He played a key role in Camp David peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel in 1978, and a subsequent peace treaty the following year.

The diplomat came from one of Egypt's most influential Coptic Christian families, and studied international law. His grandfather, Boutros Ghali Pasha was the country's prime minister between 1908 and 1910.

He was the only Secretary General to have served a single term at the UN.

During his time as the head of the United Nations, he tried to separate the internal workings of the organization from political juggernauts of the time. He could not win a second term at the UN. He was succeeded by Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan.

His five years at the UN came with formidable challenges, such as peaceful resolution and prevention of Balkan wars and Rwandan genocide. However, each time the efforts were complicated by limits on UN peacekeeping forces and member countries' interventions.

Boutros-Ghali called the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which claimed over 500,000 lives in a period of three months, his "worst failure at the United Nations."

Pope Francis gave his condolences in a telegram sent by Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

"Recalling Mr. Boutros-Ghali's generous service to his country and to the international community, His Holiness offers the assurance of his prayers for the late Secretary-General's eternal rest, and he invokes the divine blessings of peace and strength upon the members of his family and all who mourn his loss," the telegram reads.

Tags Boutros Boutros-Ghali, United Nations Secretary General

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