|Boutros-Ghali in March 2002|
|6th Secretary-General of the United Nations|
1 January 1992 – 31 December 1996
|Preceded by||Javier Pérez de Cuéllar|
|Succeeded by||Kofi Annan|
|1st Secretary General of La Francophonie|
16 November 1997 – 31 December 2002
|Succeeded by||Abdou Diouf|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
17 September 1978 – 17 February 1979
|Prime Minister||Mamdouh Salem
|Preceded by||Muhammad Ibrahim Kamel|
|Succeeded by||Mustafa Khalil|
17 November 1970 – 15 December 1999
|Prime Minister||Mamdouh Salem|
|Preceded by||Ismail Fahmi|
|Succeeded by||Muhammad Ibrahim Kamel|
14 November 1922 |
Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt
(now Cairo, Egypt)
|Political party||Arab Socialist Union (before 1978)
National Democratic Party (1978–2011)
|Spouse(s)||Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali|
|Alma mater||Cairo University
Institute of Political Studies, Paris
|Religion||Coptic Orthodox Christianity|
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (بطرس بطرس غالى Buṭrus Buṭrus Ghālī , Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ˈbotɾos ˈɣæːli]; born 14 November 1922) is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from January 1992 to December 1996. An academic and former Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt, Boutros Boutros-Ghali oversaw the UN at a time when it dealt with several world crises, including the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Rwandan Genocide.
Early life and education
Boutros Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo on 14 November 1922 into a Coptic Christian family. 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. He received a PhD in international law from the University of Paris and diploma in international relations from the Sciences Po in 1949. During 1949–1979, he was appointed Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University. 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.
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.
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.
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. Some Somalis believed he was responsible for an escalation of the Somalia crisis by undertaking a personal vendetta against Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his Habr Gidr clan, favouring their rivals, the Darod, clan of the former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. It was believed that he demanded 12 July 1993 US helicopter attack on a meeting of Habr Gidr clan leaders, who were meeting to discuss a peace initiative put forward by the leader of the UN Mission in Mogadishu, retired US Admiral Jonathan Howe. It is generally believed that the majority of the clan elders were eager to arrange a peace, and rein in the provocative activities of their clan leader, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, but after this attack on a peaceful meeting, the clan was resolved on fighting the Americans and the UN, leading to the Battle of Mogadishu on 3–4 October 1993.
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, South Korea, and Italy did not sponsor the resolution, but the last three nations voted in support of Boutros-Ghali after the United States had firmly declared its intention to veto. Although not the first vetoed candidate (China vetoed the third term of Kurt Waldheim in 1981 in order to nominate a secretary general from the Third World), 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.
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.')
Richard Holbrooke wrote that the United States was opposed to Boutros-Ghali because of the latter's reluctance on approving NATO bombing in Bosnia (something that Kofi Annan supported). He notes that United States opposition to the Secretary General was opposed by all its allies. Stanley Meisler, biographer of Kofi Annan, writes that Boutros Ghali's reluctance in bombing the Serbs in Bosnia stemmed from French and British opposition to the tactic, as both countries had provided most of the UN peacekeepers and feared that the Serbs would retaliate against their soldiers.
Meisler instead suggests that Clinton sought to veto Boutros Ghali's second term to increase his own popularity, as Senator Bob Dole, who was running against Clinton in 1996, had gotten a few votes by repeatedly denouncing Boutros-Ghali vehemently.
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, 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 Director of the Egyptian National Council of Human Rights, which he remained until Autumn 2012.
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.
In a TV interview conducted by the Egyptian network Al-Kahera Wal-Nas TV, in December 2014, Boutros-Gali stated that Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt had the right to nuclear weapons. When asked if Iran had the right to such weapons, the former Secretary-General of the U.N. answered, 'Of course. I believe so.'
In popular culture
- Sarajevo Tango, a comic book/graphic novel by Hermann Huppen about Siege of Sarajevo and Bosnian War in general, features involvement of Ghali as UN secretary-general.
- In the 2013 film World War Z, actor David Morse in his role as an imprisoned CIA operative Gunter Haffner tells Brad Pitt's character: "more books, fewer receptions, Boutros Boutros".
- In episode 85, "The Hamptons", of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld says "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" in response to seeing George's girlfriend topless.
- Boutros-Ghali appears as 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.
- Boutros-Ghali's name was used in the comedic language on the BBC comedy The Fast Show, in the Chanel 9 sketches which parodied poor quality Latin, Greek, Southern Mediterranean style state television. The sketch always ended with the characters announcing "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" instead of "Goodbye".
- Boutros-Ghali was interviewed by Ali G, a character of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. The interview appeared on the "War" episode of Da Ali G Show. Ghali told viewers: "I am Boutros Boutros-Ghali; put down your guns and listen to Bob Marley".
- In the Yugoslav satirical comedy TV series Složna braća, whose plot is set just after the Bosnian War in a fictional tiny rural enclave of the divided Bosnia under direct protection of the United Nations, the then-general secretary Boutros-Ghali's portrait is on prominent display in the enclave's inn (reminiscent of how former Yugoslav president for life Josip Broz Tito's pictures used to be so prominently featured in his time there) and the protagonists that are feeling mistreated by whoever often threaten the wrongdoer (perceived or not) that they "will call Boutros" to intervene. Some indeed write him letters complaining of petty problems in the enclave and inviting him to come to the enclave for a good meal in the inn and that the local kids long to see "uncle Boutros".
As Secretary-General, Boutros-Ghali wrote An Agenda for Peace. He has also published two memoirs:
- Egypt's road to Jerusalem (1997), about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
- Unvanquished: A US-U.N. Saga (1999), about his time as Secretary-General at the U.N.
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali Biography, Encyclopedia of World Biography
- Reid, Donald M. (1982). "Political Assassination in Egypt, 1910–1954". The International Journal of African Historical Studies 15 (4): 625–651. doi:10.2307/217848. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Boutros Boutros-Ghali: The world is his oyster". Weekly Ahram. 18 January 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Melvern, Linda (2000). A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide. London: Zed. ISBN 1-85649-830-1.Washington Monthly Review
- Bowden, Mark (1999). Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. New York: New American Library. pp. 83–84. ISBN 0-451-20514-6.
- Clarke, Richard (2004). Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror. New York: Free Press. p. 201. ISBN 0-7432-6024-4.
- Holbrooke, Richard (1999). To End a War. New York: Modern Library. p. 202. ISBN 0-375-75360-5.
- Stanley Meisler (18 October 1996). "Getting Rid of Boutros-Ghali".
- "South Centre website". Southcentre.org. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "MESSAGE FROM DR. BOUTROS BOUTROS GHALI" (PDF). International campaign for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
- "The jury for the Conflict Prevention Prize awarded by the Fondation Chirac". Fondationchirac.eu. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "the Hamptons". Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "49eme festival de télévision de Monte=Carlo" (Press release). tv festival.com. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "The Fast Show – Character Guide". BBC. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- IMDb > "Da Ali G Show" War (2003). Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- IMDb > "Da Ali G Show" (2003) > Episode list, "Season 1, Episode 2: War. Original Air Date—28 February 2003." Retrieved 29 August 2010
- IMDb > "Da Ali G Show"
- Media related to Boutros Boutros-Ghali at Wikimedia Commons
- Quotations related to Boutros Boutros-Ghali at Wikiquote
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
Muhammad Ibrahim Kamel
Muhammad Ibrahim Kamel
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
|Secretary General of the United Nations
(Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique)
|Secretary General of La Francophonie