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Boutros Boutros-Ghali


In office
1 January 1992 – 31 December 1996
Preceded by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Succeeded by Kofi Annan

In office
1977–1991

In office
1997–2002

Born November 14, 1922 (1922-11-14) (age 87)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian
Spouse(s) Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali
Religion Coptic Christian

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Arabic: بطرس بطرس غالي, Coptic: Ⲃⲟⲩⲧⲣⲟⲥ Ⲃⲟⲩⲧⲣⲟⲥ Ⲅⲁⲗⲏ) (born 14 November, 1922) is an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from January 1992 to December 1996.

Contents

Academic career

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo into a Coptic Christian family (Boutros being the Arabized form of Petros). His grandfather Boutros Ghali had been Prime Minister of Egypt from 1908 until he was assassinated in 1910.

Boutros-Ghali graduated from Cairo University in 1946, Ph.D. in international law from the University of Paris, and a diploma in international relations from the Sciences Po in 1949. In 1979, he was appointed Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University, a position which he held until 1999. He became President of the Centre of Political and Strategic Studies in 1975 and President of the African Society of Political Studies in 1980. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Columbia University from 1954 to 1955, Director of the Centre of Research of the Hague Academy of International Law from 1963 to 1964, and Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law at Paris University from 1967 to 1968. He is also the Honorary Rector of the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, a branch of Kyunghee University Seoul.

Egyptian political career

He had long been closely associated with the ruling clique in Egypt.[citation needed] His political career developed during the presidency of Anwar El Sadat. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union from 1974 to 1977. He served as Egypt's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1977 until early 1991. He then became Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for several months before moving to the UN. As Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, he played a part in the peace agreements between President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.[1]

According to investigative journalist Linda Melvern, Boutros-Ghali approved a secret $26 million arms sale to the government of Rwanda in 1990 when he was Egyptian Foreign Minister, the weapons stockpiled by the Hutu regime as part of the fairly public, long-term preparations for the subsequent genocide. He was serving as UN Secretary-General when the killings occurred 4 years later.[2]

UN career

Elected as secretary-general, the top post of the UN, in 1991, Boutros-Ghali's term in office remains controversial. In 1992, he submitted An Agenda for Peace, a suggestion for how the UN could respond to violent conflict. However, he was criticised for the UN's failure to act during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which officially left over 1 million people dead, and he appeared unable to muster support in the UN for intervention in the continuing Angolan Civil War. One of the hardest tasks during his term was dealing with the crisis of the Yugoslav wars after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia. His reputation became entangled in the larger controversies over the effectiveness of the UN and the role of the United States in the UN. For his detractors, primarily US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, he came to symbolise the UN's alleged inaction in the face of humanitarian crises.[citation needed]

Nomination for second term

In 1996, ten Security Council members, led by African members Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Botswana, sponsored a resolution backing Boutros-Ghali for a second five-year term, until the year 2001. However, the United States vetoed a second term for Boutros-Ghali. In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Korea, and Italy did not sponsor the resolution, although the four nations voted in support of Boutros-Ghali after the US had firmly declared its intention to veto. Although not the first vetoed (China vetoed the third term of Kurt Waldheim in 1981), Boutros-Ghali was the only UN secretary-general not to be elected to a second term in office. He was succeeded at the UN by Kofi Annan.

Richard Clarke (US counter-terrorism czar), Michael Sheehan, and James Rubin participated in what they called "Operation Orient Express". Clarke wrote:

Albright and I and a handful of others (Michael Sheehan, Jamie Rubin) had entered into a pact together in 1996 to oust Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the United Nations, a secret plan we had called Operation Orient Express, reflecting our hope that many nations would join us in doing in the UN head. In the end, the US had to do it alone (with its UN veto) and Sheehan and I had to prevent the President from giving in to pressure from world leaders and extending Boutros-Ghali's tenure, often by our racing to the Oval Office when we were alerted that a head of state was telephoning the President. In the end Clinton was impressed that we had managed not only to oust Boutros-Ghali but to have Kofi Annan selected to replace him. (Clinton told Sheehan and me, 'Get me a crow, I should eat a crow, because I said you would never pull it off.')[3]

Richard Holbrooke commented on the issue:

The struggle over the U.N.'s role foreshadowed the American determination a year later to oppose Boutros-Ghali's quest for a second term as Secretary-General. More than any other issue, it was his performance on Bosnia that made us feel he did not deserve a second term - just as Kofi Annan's strength on the bombing in August had already made him the private favourite of many American officials. Although the American campaign against Boutros-Ghali, in which all our key allies opposed us, was long and difficult - especially for Allbright, who bore heavy and unjust criticism for her role - the decision was correct, and may well have saved America's role in the United Nations.[4]

Later life

From 1997 to 2002 Boutros-Ghali was Secretary-General of La Francophonie, an organisation of French-speaking nations. From 2003 to 2006, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the South Centre,[5] an intergovernmental research organisation of developing countries. He is currently President of the Curatorium Administrative Council at the Hague Academy of International Law. In 2003 Boutros-Ghali was appointed as The Director of the Egyptian National Council of Human Rights, a position he still holds.

Since April 2007 Boutros-Ghali has supported the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and was one of the initial signatories of the Campaign's appeal. In a message to the Campaign, he stressed the necessity to establish democratic participation of citizens at the global level.

Film and television appearances

Boutros-Ghali appears himself in the documentary film, "Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace." In his interviews with Director Harry Hunkele, Boutros-Ghali describes his role and that of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in bringing about the peace accord between Egypt and Israel in March 1979.[6]

Boutros-Ghali was interviewed by the Ali G Show.[7]

Boutros-Ghali was the inspiration behind the comedic language in the BBC comedy The Fast Show. Specifically, the parody of Spanish state television (and also much Southern Mediterranean TV) - Chanel 9. The sketch always ended with the characters announcing "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" in place of "Goodbye" [8]

In the sitcom Seinfeld, main character Jerry Seinfeld used the name "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" as an exclamation, usually having to do with a physical attraction to the opposite sex.

In the animated comedy series King of the Hill, Dale Gribble, talking about global warming, said "That's code for UN commissars telling Americans what the temperature's going to be in our outdoors. I say let the world warm up. Let's see what Boutros Boutros Ghali Ghali (sic) has to say about that. We'll grow oranges in Alaska!

In the sitcom Friends, Phoebe mentions Boutros Boutros-Ghali in "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break Part 1" when she is trying to make conversation with her UN Diplomat date.

In the song "You're a Champion" by rock group the 2 Skinnee J's, Boutros-Ghali is referenced in the line, "we'll double up your pleasure, like Boutros-Boutros Ghali".

Works

As Secretary-General, Boutros-Ghali wrote An Agenda for Peace.

Boutros-Ghali has published two memoirs:

  • Egypt's road to Jerusalem (1997), about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
  • Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga (1999), about his time as Secretary-General at the UN


Political offices
Preceded by
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Peru
United Nations Secretary-General
1992–1997
Succeeded by
Kofi Annan
Ghana

See also

References


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Only stupid people don't change their minds.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali CC (Arabic: بطرس بطرس غالي) (born 14 November 1922) is an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996.

Sourced

  • We have entered a time of global transition marked by uniquely contradictory trends. Regional and continental associations of States are evolving ways to deepen cooperation and ease some of the contentious characteristics of sovereign and nationalistic rivalries. National boundaries are blurred by advanced communications and global commerce, and by the decisions of States to yield some sovereign prerogatives to larger, common political associations. At the same time, however, fierce new assertions of nationalism and sovereignty spring up, and the cohesion of States is threatened by brutal ethnic, religious, social, cultural or linguistic strife. Social peace is challenged on the one hand by new assertions of discrimination and exclusion and, on the other, by acts of terrorism seeking to undermine evolution and change through democratic means.
  • The concept of peace is easy to grasp; that of international security is more complex, for a pattern of contradictions has arisen here as well. As major nuclear Powers have begun to negotiate arms reduction agreements, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction threatens to increase and conventional arms continue to be amassed in many parts of the world. As racism becomes recognized for the destructive force it is and as apartheid is being dismantled, new racial tensions are rising and finding expression in violence. Technological advances are altering the nature and the expectation of life all over the globe. The revolution in communications has united the world in awareness, in aspiration and in greater solidarity against injustice. But progress also brings new risks for stability: ecological damage, disruption of family and community life, greater intrusion into the lives and rights of individuals.
    • An Agenda for Peace : Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping (1992)
  • The lesson I learned in Cairo still applies. The only way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence.
    • Statement of 1993, as quoted in The Coming Plague : Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (1995) by Laurie Garrett, p. 592, and in Preventive Diplomacy : Stopping Wars before they Start (1996) by Kevin M. Cahill, p. 254
  • I believe it will take time to find a solution to the problem. Thus we must have patience.
  • It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy; power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy. This is why the weak are so deeply concerned with the democratic principle of the sovereign equality of states, as a means of providing some small measure of equality for that which is not equal in fact. Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.
    • Unvanquished : A U.S. - U.N. Saga (1999), p. 198
  • While the broad principles of democracy are universal, the fact remains that their application varies considerably ... We are at the beginning of the road, at the very beginning. We still have a long way to go.
    • Quoted in "Boutros Boutros-Ghali: The world is his oyster" by Gamal Nkrumah in Al-Ahram weekly No. 777 (10 - 18 January 2006)
  • Cultural pluralism is as important as political and multi- party pluralism. Religious, linguistic and cultural pluralism are vitally important hallmarks of a true democracy. We are against cultural hegemony of any sort. Diversity is a mark of a healthy democracy.
    • Quoted in "Boutros Boutros-Ghali: The world is his oyster" by Gamal Nkrumah in Al-Ahram weekly No. 777 (10 - 18 January 2006)
  • I will continue to work for the advancement of freedoms in Egypt and the Arab world until I drop dead. ... Education itself — which can and should play an important role in the apprenticeship of tolerance and respect for other people — sometimes encourages identitarian closure, or even extremist behaviour … It is therefore vital to ensure that education does not encourage rejection of other people or identitarian closure, but that on the contrary it encourages knowledge and respect for other cultures, other religions and other ways of being and living.
    • Quoted in "Boutros Boutros-Ghali: The world is his oyster" by Gamal Nkrumah in Al-Ahram weekly No. 777 (10 - 18 January 2006)

Quotes about Boutros-Ghali

  • The situation also gave U.N. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali a chance to start the U.N.'s disegagement from Bosnia, something he had long wanted to do. After a few meetings with him, I concluded that this elegant and subtle Egyptian, whose Coptic family could trace its origins back over centuries, had disdain for the fractious and dirty peoples of the Balkans. Put bluntly, he never liked the place. In 1992, during his only visit to Sarajevo, he made the comment that shocked the journalists on the day I arrived in the beleaguered capital: "Bosnia is a rich man's war. I understand your frustration, but you have a situation here that is better than ten other places in the world. ... I can give you a list." He complained many times that Bosnia was eating up his budget, diverting him from other priorities, and threatening the whole U.N. system. "Bosnia has created a distortion in the work of the U.N.", he said just before Srebrenica. Sensing that our diplomatic efforts offered an opportunity to disengage, he informed the Security Council on September 18 that he would be ready to end the U.N. role in the former Yugoslavia, and allow all key aspects of implementation to be placed with others. Two days later, he told Madeleine Albright that the Contact Group should create its own mechanism for implementation — thus volunteering to reduce the U.N.'s role at a critical moment. Ironically, his weakness simplified our task considerably.
  • The struggle over the U.N.'s role foreshadowed the American determination a year later to oppose Boutros-Ghali's quest for a second term as Secretary-General. More than any other issue, it was his performance on Bosnia that made us feel he did not deserve a second term — just as Kofi Annan's strength on the bombing in August had already made him the private favorite of many American officials. Although the American campaign against Boutros-Ghali, in which all our key allies opposed us, was long and difficult — especially for Allbright, who bore heavy and unjust criticism for her role — the decision was correct, and may well have saved America's role in the United Nations.

External links

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Simple English

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

In office
1 January 1992 – 1 January 1997
Preceded by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Succeeded by Kofi Annan

Born November 14, 1922 (1922-11-14) (age 88)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian
Spouse Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali
Religion Coptic Christian

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Arabic: بطرس بطرس غالي, Coptic: Bουτρος Βουτρος-Γαλι) (born November 14, 1922) is an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996.

Contents

Egyptian political career

File:Boutros Boutros-Ghali in
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at Davos in 1995.

He had long been closely associated with the ruling party in Egypt. His political career took off during the days of former president Anwar El-Sadat. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union (1974-77). He had served as Egypt's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1977 until early 1991. He then became Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for several months before moving to the UN. As Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, he played a part in the peace agreements between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.[1]

UN career

Elected to the top post of the UN in 1991, Boutros-Ghali's term in office remains controversial. He was criticised for the UN's failure to act during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which officially left about 937,000 people dead, and he appeared unable to muster support in the UN for intervention in the continuing Angolan Civil War. One of the hardest periods for his office during his term was dealing with the crisis of the Yugoslav wars after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia. His reputation thus became entangled in the larger controversies over the effectiveness of the UN and the role of the United States in the UN. For his detractors, he came to symbolise the UN's alleged inaction in the face of humanitarian crises.

Second term

In 1996, ten Security Council members, led by African members Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Botswana, sponsored a resolution backing Boutros-Ghali for a second five-year term, until the year 2001. However, the United States vetoed a second term for Boutros-Ghali. In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Korea, and Italy did not sponsor this resolution, although all four of those nations voted in support of Boutros-Ghali after the US had firmly declared its intention to veto. Although not the first vetoed (China vetoed the third term of Kurt Waldheim in 1981), Boutros-Ghali was the first and only UN secretary-general not to be elected to a second term in office. He was succeeded at the UN by Kofi Annan.

US counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, Michael Sheehan, and Jamie Rubin participated in what they called "Operation Orient Express." From page 201 of Clarke's book Against All Enemies: "Albright and I and a handful of others (Michael Sheehan, Jamie Rubin) had entered into a pact together in 1996 to oust Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the United Nations, a secret plan we had called Operation Orient Express, reflecting our hope that many nations would join us in doing in the UN head. In the end, the US had to do it alone (with its UN veto) and Sheehan and I had to prevent the President from giving in to pressure from world leaders and extending Boutros-Ghali's tenure, often by our racing to the Oval Office when we were alerted that a head of state was telephoning the President. In the end Clinton was impressed that we had managed not only to oust Boutros-Ghali but to have Kofi Annan selected to replace him. (Clinton told Sheehan and me, 'Get me a crow, I should eat a crow, because I said you would never pull it off.')"

Later life

From 1997 to 2002 Boutros-Ghali was Secretary-General of La Francophonie, an organisation of French-speaking nations. From 2003 to 2006, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the South Centre,[2] intergovernmental research organisation of developing countries. He is currently President of the Curatorium Administrative Council at the Hague Academy of International Law. In 2003 Boutros-Ghali was appointed as The Director of the Egyptian National Council of Human Rights, he is still holding this position till today.

Since April 2007 Boutros-Ghali has supported the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and was one of the initial signatories of the Campaign's appeal. In a message to the Campaign, he stressed the necessity to establish democratic participation of citizens at the global level.

Works

Boutros-Ghali has published two memoirs:

  • Egypt's road to Jerusalem (1997), about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.
  • Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga (1999), about his time as Secretary-General at the UN.

Quotes

  • "It would be some time before I fully realised that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy… The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States."[3][4]
  • "The best way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence."[5]
Preceded by
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Peru
United Nations Secretary-General
1992 – 1997
Succeeded by
Kofi Annan
Ghana

References








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