Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali dies aged 93

He became the sixth head of the United Nations in 1992

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egypt, United Nations, dead, UN, Secretary-General

Portrait of Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1991 | Image: UN Photo/Milton Grant

Tributes are being paid to the former head of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who has died at the age of 93.

He became the sixth Secretary-General of the UN on January 1st 1992, when he began a five-year term.

At the time of his appointment he had been deputy prime minister for foreign affairs of Egypt since May 1991.

He 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.

Over four decades, Mr Boutros-Ghali participated in numerous meetings dealing with international law, human rights, economic and social development, decolonisation, the Middle East, international humanitarian law, the rights of ethnic and other minorities and Afro-Arab cooperation.

The current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply saddened" at news of his predecessor's death.

"As Secretary-General, he presided over a dramatic rise in UN peacekeeping. He also presided over a time when the world increasingly turned to the United Nations for solutions to its problems, in the immediate aftermath of the cold war", Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

"Boutros Boutros-Ghali did much to shape the Organization’s response to this new era, in particular through his landmark report “An Agenda for Peace” and the subsequent agendas for development and democratisation".

"He showed courage in posing difficult questions to the member states, and rightly insisted on the independence of his office and of the Secretariat as a whole".

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (centre) addresses the UN General Assembly following his swearing-in ceremony in 1991 | Image: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

"I extend my deepest condolences to Mrs. Boutros-Ghali, as well as to the rest of the family, to the Egyptian people, and to the late Secretary-General’s many friends and admirers around the world".

"The United Nations community will mourn a memorable leader who rendered invaluable services to world peace and international order", Ban Ki-moon added.

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 received a Ph.D. in international law from Paris University in 1949.

He also held 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.

During the course of his career, he received awards and honours from 24 countries.

Born in Cairo in 1922, he was married to Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali.

The UN Security Council held a silent tribute during a meeting earlier today.