Former U.N. Chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali Dead at 93

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Close-Up of Boutros Boutros Ghali In France On March 27, 1998.
He was originally from Egypt.Photo: Louis MONIER/2011 Gamma-Rapho

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the first United Nations secretary-general from Africa, has died at 93, Venezuelan U.N. ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreno announced Tuesday. The 15-member U.N. Security Council observed Boutros-Ghali’s passing with a minute of silence during its meeting, but no further details of his death were released.

Boutros-Ghali, who was the sixth U.N. chief, served one five-year term from 1992 to 1996. Having focused much of his time in office on relieving famine in Somalia, he was criticized for ignoring the 1994 Rwandan genocide and for failing to intervene in Angola’s civil war. His relationship with the Clinton administration was a difficult one, and he frequently criticized the United States for “voting for tough Security Council resolutions, and then refusing to support the actions on the ground,” according to the New York Times. In his final speech as secretary-general, Boutros-Ghali expressed his frustration with “the serious gap between mandates and resources.” In his 1999 book, Unvanquished, he wrote that he “mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Neither does the United States.”