Archive for February 17th, 2016

17/02/2016

UN Mourns Death of Former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Human Wrongs Watch

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, veteran Egyptian diplomat and the first United Nations Secretary-General from Africa, on 16 February 2016 passed away at the age of 93. He is being praised for guiding the Organization through the tumultuous early 1990’s and for helping shape the UN’s response to post-Cold War realities, drafting a seminal report on preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping.

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On 2 January 1992, Boutros Boutros-Ghali (right), Secretary-General of the United Nations, arrives at the Secretariat Entrance for his first working day at the United Nations. Aly Teymour, Chief of Protocol, escorts him into the building. UN Photo/John Isaac

The UN Security Council announced Mr. Boutros-Ghali’s death this morning, after which the 15-member held a moment of silence.

Mr. Boutros-Ghali had a long association with international affairs as a diplomat, jurist, scholar and widely published author.

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17/02/2016

Boutros Boutros Ghali, Turning Point in the History of United Nations

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 16 February 2016 – It is no coincidence that Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who died on Feb. 16, was the only Secretary-General in the history of the United Nations to have served only one of the two terms that have always been allowed. The United States vetoed his re-election, in spite of the favourable vote of the other members of the Security Council. He was considered too independent.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt) 1992-1996

Photo: UNON – United Nations Office at Nairobi

We have now forgotten that in 1992, on U.S. request, Boutros Ghali authorized a UN intervention in Somalia, run by a U.S. general, the aim of which was to distribute 90 million dollars of food and aid to the former Italian colony, shaken by an internal conflict among several war lords.

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17/02/2016

UN Chief Denied Second Term by a Livid US Veto

Human Wrongs Watch 

UNITED NATIONS, 16 February 2016 (IPS) – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who passed away Tuesday  [16 February] at the age of 93, was the only UN Secretary-General (1992-1996) to be denied a second term in office because of a US veto in the 15-member Security Council.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

The US, which preaches the concept of majority rule to the outside world, exercised its veto even though Boutros-Ghali had 14 of the 15 votes in the Security Council, including the votes of the other four permanent members of the Council, namely the UK, France, Russia and China.

In such circumstances, tradition would demand the dissenting US abstain on the vote and respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority in the Security Council.

But the US refused to acknowledge the vibrant political support that Boutros-Ghali had garnered in the world body.

Unlike most of his predecessors and successors, Boutros-Ghali refused to blindly play ball with the US despite the fact that he occasionally caved into US pressure at a time when Washington had gained a notoriety for trying to manipulate the world body to protect its own national interests.

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