Ex-UN Chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali Dead at 93

He died in a Cairo hospital after suffering a broken pelvis
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2016 10:48 AM CST
Ex-UN Chief Boutros-Ghali Dead at 93
Boutros Boutros-Ghali is seen in 2007.   (AP Photo/Michael Schmelling, File)

The first Arab and African to hold the UN's top position has died. Egyptian Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who served as the UN's secretary general from 1992 to 1996, died Tuesday at a Cairo hospital where he was admitted last week with a broken pelvis, Egypt's state news agency reports, per the AP. He was 93. The president of the UN Security Council confirmed his death during a session Tuesday; all 15 council members honored Boutros-Ghali by standing for a minute of silence. Boutros-Ghali—who helped broker Egypt's 1979 peace deal with Israel while minister of state for foreign affairs—is the only UN secretary-general to serve a single term. After clashing with the Clinton administration—including over Israel's shelling of a UN camp in Lebanon—the US blocked his renewal in 1996. He later said Washington used the UN for its own aims.

"The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Neither does the United States," Boutros-Ghali wrote in his 1999 book Unvanquished. In 2005, he said the 1994 genocide in Rwanda was "my worst failure at the United Nations," though he blamed the US, Britain, France, and Belgium for making intervention impossible. He was also criticized for the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica—though the New York Times reports he got only a fraction of the peacekeepers he wanted in Bosnia—and for corruption in the UN's oil-for-food program for Iraq. Boutros-Ghali went on to serve as secretary general of La Francophonie from 1998 to 2002, per the BBC. In 2004, he was named president of Egypt's human rights council. Fox News reports Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi phoned Boutros-Ghali on Thursday to thank him for his service to Egypt and wish him a fast recovery. (More United Nations stories.)

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