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Biography of Boutros-Boutros GHALI

Egypt > Arts : Boutros-Boutros GHALI

Boutros-Boutros GHALI Boutros-Boutros GHALI
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Born on 14/11/1922 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Boutros-Boutros- Ghali (b, November 14, 1922) , is an Egyptian scholar and statesman, secretary-general of the United Nations from Jan. 1, 1992 to Dec. 31, 1996. He was the first Arab and first African to hold the leading UN post. Boutros-Ghali was succeeded at the UN by Kofi Annan. From 1997 to 2002 Boutros-Ghali was Secretary-General of La Francophonie, an organization of French-speaking nations.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was born into  one of the Egyptian Coptic-Christian community's most influential and wealthiest families.His father, Yusuf, at one time served as the country's finance minister, while a grandfather had been prime minister of Egypt from 1908 until his assassination in 1910..  and his uncle, Wassif Ghali, was Foreign Minister. Young Boutros was raised a Coptic Christian, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He got his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1946, and followed that with a Ph.D. in international law in Paris University . Boutros-Ghali also has degrees in political science, economics and public law. As a lawyer he specialized in international law. From 1960 to about 1975, Boutros-Ghali founded, edited, and wrote for Al-Ahram Iqtisadi, where his beat was regional and international law, diplomacy and political science. He was a member of Parliament in Egypt, and helped negotiate the 1978 Camp David accords, bringing peace between Egypt and Israel.

Boutros-Ghali was U.N. Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996. He oversaw a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Somalia that went rather disastrously, and asked for assistance from the U.S. and other nations within just a few months. Also under his watch, war raged in Bosnia and genocide unfolded in Rwanda. Boutros-Ghali served just one term as Secretary-General, when the tradition is two.


Indeed, that Boutros-Ghali was named secretary-general had surprised many UN experts, who generally dismissed him as too moderate and lacking personality. They saw his selection as a gesture toward developing nations, especially the fifty-one African countries that belonged to the United Nations. Noting that he was sixty-nine, they thought he would be more of a temporary caretaker than a voice for change for an action-oriented United Nations. But the secretary-general's critics apparently had underestimated his leadership qualities and inner resolve. Certainly, Boutros-Ghali's long public career and experience in international and Middle East diplomacy were impressive qualifications for the difficult position.

Boutros-Ghali continued to be committed to bringing democracy to nations that had a history of conflict. He oversaw the stationing of more than seventy thousand UN peace-keeping troops during his years in office. Boutros-Ghali remained willing to speak his mind until the end of his term in 1996.

After leaving the United Nations, in 1997 Boutros-Ghali was named secretary-general of the International Organization of the Fran-cophonie. The organization has fifty-one member states that together make up the French-speaking world. In 2001 the University of Ottawa in Canada recognized the outstanding role Boutros-Ghali played in world politics by awarding him an honorary doctorate.

Last update : 04/22/2008

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