CAIRO, Feb. 16 (Aswat Masriya) – Egyptian diplomat and scholar Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali has passed away on Tuesday at the age of 93 in a Giza hospital, after sustaining a serious injury months earlier.
The UN Security Council observed a minute's silence upon the news of his death.
A prominent diplomat with a long history of international achievements, Boutrous-Ghali became the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1992, making him the first African to assume that position.
He served only one term (1992-1996) at the office, after which he was not re-elected for another term due to the objection of the US to his re-election. He was then succeeded by Kofi Annan.
At the time of his appointment as UN Secretary General, Boutrous-Ghali had been Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt and had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 until 1991.
During President Anwar Al-Sadat's tenure, Boutrous-Ghali accompanied the president in his famous visit to Jerusalem in November 1977 for peace talks with Israel in the aftermath of the 1973 October war.
At the time, he attended the Camp David Summit Conference, and played a significant role in negotiating the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, signed in 1979.
Boutrous-Ghali's rich legal background paved the way for his active participation in various international forums and associations related to his academic background. He was a member of the International Law Commission from 1979 until 1991, among others, and participated in several meetings dealing with international law and human rights.
He held a bachelor of Laws degree from Cairo University, in addition to several diplomas in political science, economics and public law from Paris University. He also received his PH.D. in international law from Paris University.
Boutrous-Ghali held several academic posts, as he was Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University (1949-1977) and a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law in Paris University. He was also the Director of the Centre of Research of the Hague Academy of International Law (1954-1955)
In the field of human rights, Boutrous-Ghali headed Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) until he resigned in 2011, which marked his last post.
As a widely celebrated scholar, Boutrous-Ghali received numerous awards on an international level and several honorary doctoral degrees, mostly in Law, from various universities.
Born in Cairo in November 1922, Boutrous-Ghali wrote more than 100 publications and numerous articles during his lifetime, mostly topics tackling regional and international affairs, law and diplomacy and political science.