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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Profile: Boutros Boutros Ghali
Boutros Boutros Ghali was Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996.

The present Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has just seen the UN through one of the most turbulent periods in its history, with major disagreement over the war in Iraq, but Mr Boutros Ghali's term in office was not exactly without controversy either.

Controversy goes with the job, of course. But he found himself out of favour with Washington and did not get the second term that he wanted.

War and peacekeeping

The Rwandan genocide took place while Mr Boutros Ghali was Secretary-General, and the entire international community stood accused afterwards of looking on as the killers embarked on their slaughter.

The war in Bosnia seemed to drag on interminably. Somalia was hardly one of the more successful peace-keeping operations.

But the 1990s also saw both a big increase in UN peacekeeping activities and changes in the nature of conflict that posed new challenges for the world body.

There were more conflicts taking place within the borders of states, for a complex range of reasons, and appalling brutality was inflicted on civilian populations in a number of these conflicts.

Mr Boutros Ghali's period in office saw countries look to a better future, too - South Africa being one example.

It held its first non-racial elections in 1994. The voting was both successful and memorable with long, patient queues of first-time black voters.

But HIV and AIDS also tightened their grip on large parts of Africa and other parts of the world in the first half of the 90s.

Political Career

Born in Cairo in 1922, Mr Boutros Ghali was the sixth UN Secretary-General.

He had served as Egypt's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1977 until early 1991.

The he took the post of Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs for several months until he moved to the UN.

Before his ministerial career, he had a long association with international affairs as a diplomat, a jurist and widely published author.

Over four decades, he took part in many meetings where issues of international law, human rights, economic development and decolonisation were being discussed.

The Middle East question has occupied much of his time. In September 1978 he attended the Camp David summit and played a role in negotiating the agreements between Egypt and Israel.

Mr Boutros Ghali is now chairman of the South Centre, a grouping of forty six developing countries that champions South-South co-operation.




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