Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former Head of United Nations, Dies at 93

Former director of the U.N. was the first Arab to lead the organization during a period of turmoil and civil wars in the 1990’s

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Egypt’s state news agency said the U.N. chief died in a Cairo hospital, where he was reportedly admitted for a broken pelvis.

BBC reported that Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan ambassador to the U.N. and current president of the U.N. Security Council, confirmed Boutros-Ghali’s death.

Boutros-Ghali was the first Arab to serve as U.N. secretary-general, taking office in 1992 and serving a five-year term.

No further details about the death have been released as of yet, but the 15-member Security Council observed a minute of silence following the announcement.

According to BBC, Boutros-Ghali led the U.N. during crises with Somalia, Rwanda, the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia. His term was controversial, especially over the 1994 Rwandan genocide and Angolan war in the 1990s.

Born on Nov. 14, 1922 in Cairo, he attended Cairo University and also studied in Paris. He went on to study international relations at Columbia University and became Egypt’s foreign minister in 1997 under President Anwar al-Sadat.

Additionally, after his five-year term at the U.N., Boutros-Ghali was the secretary general of La Francophonie, an organization representing French-speaking nations, from 1998 to 2002.

And in 2002, he was appointed the president of Egypt’s new human rights council by Hosni Mubarak, then Egypt’s president.