Former UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali turns ninety, campaign congratulates

Secretariat, 14. November 2012

Former UN chief helped launching the international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly

The former Egyptian politician and diplomat Boutros Boutros-Ghali who served as sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1992 to 1996, turned ninety this Wednesday. The international Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was among those who transmitted congratulations. "We congratulate Mr. Boutros-Ghali on his 90th birthday. From the very beginning, he has strongly backed the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. On this

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1995
Image: United Nations

occasion we wish to thank him again for his support and encouragement," said Jo Leinen, Co-Chair of the campaign's parliamentary group and a member of the European Parliament.

In April 2007, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was one of the initial signatories of the campaign's statement that appeals to the UN and the governments of its member states to establish a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In a message addressed to the campaign's supporters (PDF here), he wrote that "we need to promote the democratization of globalization, before globalization destroys the foundations of national and international democracy. The establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations has become an indispensable step to achieve democratic control of globalization." Later that year he was honorary patron of the campaign's first international meeting in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

During his term as UN Secretary-General Mr. Boutros-Ghali already addressed the issue of international and global democracy. "Having recognized the connection between development and peace on the one hand, and democracy on the other, I decided that I should also explore the role of the United Nations in democratization in more detail," Mr. Boutros-Ghali noted in the foreword of a recent book on a global parliament. One of the outcomes was the famous "Agenda for Democratization" (PDF here) in which the UN Secretary-General stated that "If democratization is the most reliable way to legitimize and improve national governance, it is also the most reliable way to legitimize and improve international organization. ... Moreover, just like democratization within States, democratization at the international level is based on and aims to promote the dignity and worth of the individual human being and the fundamental equality of all persons and of all peoples."

Top image: H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali in his office in Paris in September 2011. Photo: CEUNPA