, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has paid tribute to former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali who died in Cairo on Tuesday.
Boutros-Ghali, a veteran Egyptian diplomat, was the first UN Secretary General from the African continent.
President Kenyatta eulogised the late Boutros-Ghali for the important United Nations reform proposals initiated during his tenure.
The former UN chief is remembered for the proposals he made in two major reports to the General Assembly – “An Agenda for Peace” and “An Agenda for Development.”
“Boutros-Ghali was innovative in his thinking and his proposals have had impact in areas such as peacekeeping,” President Kenyatta said.
The Egyptian diplomat became the first secretary-general from Africa in 1992, but his tenure ended abruptly five years later when the United States vetoed his second term.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described Boutros-Ghali as a respected statesman and scholar of international law who brought “formidable experience and intellectual power” to the top UN job.
“His commitment to the United Nations – its mission and its staff – was unmistakable, and the mark he has left on the organization is indelible,” Ban said.
A former Egyptian foreign minister, the veteran diplomat headed the world body during one of its most difficult times with crises in Somalia, Rwanda, the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.
After a series of clashes with the US administration, Washington turned against Boutros-Ghali and decided to back Ghanaian Kofi Annan for the top post in late 1996.
French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to Boutros-Ghali, saying this “great Egyptian and great servant of the United Nations” had worked tirelessly to preserve peace and to prevent conflicts worldwide.
“His message must serve as inspiration to the international community’s action at a time when the Middle East knows new tragedies,” Hollande said.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Boutros-Ghali’s “contribution to international affairs will long be remembered.”