Boutros-Ghali, Boutros bo͞o´trōs, gä´lē [key], 1922–2016, Egyptian statesman, secretary-general of the United Nations (1992–96). Born into a politically connected Coptic Christian family, he earned degrees in law at the universities of Cairo (LL.B., 1946) and Paris (Ph.D., 1949). He was (1949–79) professor of international relations at Cairo Univ. A member of numerous academic and diplomatic organizations, he was present (1978) at the Egypt-Israel Camp David accords negotiations. He also served as Egypt's delegate to the United Nations and other international bodies and conferences. A member of the Egyptian parliament (1987–91), Boutros-Ghali became Egypt's minister of state for foreign affairs (1977–91) and deputy prime minister for foreign affairs (1991). The first African and Arab head of the United Nations, he moved to reorganize and streamline the UN Secretariat and strengthen the UN's peacekeeping role, but failed to adequately deal with civil war in Somalia and genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia. In 1996, after severe policy disagreements, mainly with the United States, he was unable to secure a second term. He served as secretary-general of La Francophonie, an organization of French-speaking nations, from 1997 to 2002, and later was chairman of South Centre, overseeing research for developing countries.
See his Egypt's Road to Jerusalem (1997) and Unvanquished: A U.S.-UN Saga (1999).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: United Nations: Biographies