Boutros "broke barriers" at the UN, says Ban Ki-moon

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UNSG Ban Ki-moon at the signing of the Book of Condolences for H.E. Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali "broke barriers" and new ground during his single five-year term.

That's the view of the current UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, who paid tribute to the late veteran diplomat from Egypt, at a formal event inside the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Mr Boutros-Ghali, the first African and Arab Secretary-General of the UN, passed away on 16 February.

He also presided over the first-ever Summit of the Security Council in a post-Cold war era and was the first to emphasize the links between peace, democracy, development.

Mr Ban had this to say.

"Mr. Boutros-Ghali won respect near and far, including as a leading Egyptian diplomat before joining the United Nations and, afterwards, as Secretary-General of La Francophonie.  Yet he never attempted to endear himself to everybody.  Perhaps he was too direct for some; he might have been too professorial for others; some definitely found him too independent — a goal that he considered among the highest virtues for any Secretary-General of the United Nations." 

The proposals put forward in Mr. Boutros-Ghali's "Agenda for peace" have become standard practice in the organization, Mr Ban said.

As Mr Boutros-Ghali oversaw a remarkable growth in peacekeeping.

Countries like Cambodia and Mozambique emerged from conflict but other like Rwanda highlighted the limitations, added Mr Ban.

The UN Chief called on Member States to build on the legacy of his predecessor.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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