I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of my predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
The late Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was a respected statesman in the service of his country, Egypt. He was a well-known scholar of international law and brought formidable experience and intellectual power to the task of piloting the United Nations through one of the most tumultuous and challenging periods in its history, and guiding the Organization of the Francophonie in subsequent years.
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.
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 democratization.
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. His commitment to the United Nations – its mission and its staff -- was unmistakable, and the mark he has left on the Organization is indelible.
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.