Boutros Boutros-Ghali became the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 1992, when he began a five-year term. At the time of his appointment by the General Assembly on 3 December 1991, Mr. Boutros-Ghali had been Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt since May 1991 and had served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1977 until 1991.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali has had a long association with international affairs as a diplomat, jurist, scholar and widely published author. He became a member of the Egyptian Parliament in 1987 and was part of the secretariat of the National Democratic Party from 1980. Until assuming the office of Secretary-General of the United Nations, he was also Vice- President of the Socialist International.
He was a member of the International Law Commission from 1979 until 1991, and is a former member of the International Commission of Jurists. He has many professional and academic associations related to his background in law, international affairs and political science, among them, his membership in the Institute of International Law, the International Institute of Human Rights, the African Society of Political Studies and the Académie des sciences morales et politique (Académie française, Paris).
Over four decades, Mr. Boutros-Ghali participated in numerous meetings dealing with international law, human rights, economic and social development, decolonization, the Middle East question, international humanitarian law, the rights of ethnic and other minorities, non-alignment, development in the Mediterranean region and Afro-Arab cooperation.
In September 1978, Mr. Boutros-Ghali attended the Camp David Summit Conference and had a role in negotiating the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, which were signed in 1979. He led many delegations of his country to meetings of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, as well as to the Summit Conference of the French and African Heads of State. He also headed Egypt’s delegation to the General Assembly sessions in 1979, 1982 and 1990.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali received a Ph.D. in international law from Paris University in 1949. His thesis was on the study of regional organizations. Mr. Boutros-Ghali also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, received from Cairo University in 1946, as well as separate diplomas in political science, economics and public law from Paris University.
Between 1949 and 1977, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University. From 1974 to 1977, he was a member of the Central Committee and Political Bureau of the Arab Socialist Union.
Among his other professional and academic activities, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Columbia University (1954-1955); Director of the Centre of Research of The Hague Academy of International Law (1963-1964); and Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, Paris University (1967-1968). He has lectured on international law and international relations at universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali was President of the Egyptian Society of International Law from 1965; President of the Centre of Political and Strategic Studies (Al-Ahram) from 1975; member of the Curatorium Administrative Council of The Hague Academy of International Law from 1978; member of the Scientific Committee of the Académie mondiale pour la paix (Menton, France) from 1978; and associate member of the Institute affari internazionali (Rome) from 1979.
He served as a member of the Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organisation from 1971 until 1979. Mr. Boutros-Ghali also founded the publication Alahram Iqtisadi, which he edited from 1960 to 1975, and the quarterly Al-Seyassa Al-Dawlia, which he edited until December 1991.
The more than 100 publications and numerous articles that Mr. Boutros-Ghali has written deal with regional and international affairs, law and diplomacy, and political science.
During the course of his career, Mr. Boutros-Ghali has received awards and honours from 24 countries, which, besides Egypt, include Belgium, Italy, Colombia, Guatemala, France, Ecuador, Argentina, Nepal, Luxembourg, Portugal, Niger, Mali, Mexico, Greece, Chile, Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Central African Republic, Sweden and the Republic of Korea. He has also been decorated with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
He was awarded a doctorate of law honoris causa from the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (September 1992); a doctorate honoris causa from l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (January 1993); the Christian A. Herter Memorial Award from the World Affairs Council, Boston (March 1993); a doctorate honoris causa from The Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (April 1993); the “Man of Peace” award, sponsored by the Italian-based Together for Peace Foundation (July 1993); an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Laval, Quebec (August 1993); and the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Star Crystal Award for Excellence from the African-American Institute, New York (November 1993).
In addition, he was given an honorary membership of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Moscow (April 1994); an honorary foreign membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (April 1994); an honourary foreign membership of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, (April 1994); an honorary doctorate from the University Carlos III of Madrid (April 1994); an honorary degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (May 1994); a doctorate in international law honoris causa from the University of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (August 1994); honorary doctorates from the University of Bucharest (October 1994), University of Baku (October 1994), University of Yerevan (November 1994), University of Haifa (February 1995), University of Vienna (February 1995), and University of Melbourne (April 1995); and a doctorate of law honoris causa from Carleton University, Canada (November 1995).
He was made a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale University (March 1995) and is the recipient of the Onassis Award for International Understanding and Social Achievement (July 1995).
Boutros Boutros-Ghali was awarded an honorary doctorate of law by the University Montesquien of Bordeau, France (March 1996), and he received an honorary doctorate from Koryo University, Seoul, Republic of Korea (April 1996).
Mr. Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo on 14 November 1922 and died on 16 February 2016 at the age of 93. He was married to Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali.
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali Biography and Profile (United Nations)