HL Egyptian reported to be UN"s choice: Confirmation of Butros Ghali, first African to lead international body, called formality
SO Vancouver Sun (VSUN)
Origin: UNITED NATIONS
LP --- Egyptian reported to be UN"s choice: Confirmation of Butros Ghali, first African to lead international body,
TX called formality --- UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council chose Butros Ghali of Egypt to replace Javier Perez de Cuellar as the new secretary-general of the United Nations, an official said Thursday. After the General Assembly approves his selection in the coming days - a formality, since he is one of the favored candidates of the Third World - Ghali will become the first African to lead the United Nations. The Egyptian deputy prime minister takes over on Jan. 1. African countries had been pushing vigorously for Ghali or another African to replace Perez de Cuellar, a Peruvian who announced earlier in the year he wanted to retire after serving two five-year terms as secretary general. Ghali, 69, is expected to continue UN peace efforts while placing more emphasis on reforming the sprawling UN bureaucracy. Ghali received 11 yes votes and four abstentions from the 15-member Security Council. None of the other 13 candidates got the nine votes necessary for their continued qualification. Ghali"s closest competitors were Bernard Chidzero of Zimbabwe and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria. French Ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimee emerged from the Security Council after the vote-counting was done and announced that a resolution had beeen adopted uanimously recommending Ghali to the General Assembly. Ghali arrived on a visit to Bonn, Germany, shortly before the voting. The silver-haired diplomat posed for a photographer and was asked by a reporter if he felt confident. "Yes," he said, but joked: "I"m always confident before my disillusions." After the results became apparent, his secretary said Ghali was sleeping and would not be awakened until morning. Both Ghali and Chidzero, 62, were among eight candidates endorsed by the Organization of African Unity. Of the five permanent council members, the United States and Britain had not announced which candidate they would favor. France supported Ghali. China said it supported an African or Third World candidate and the Soviet Union did not declare its preference. * The other candidates had included Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Bruntland, Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorwald Stoltenberg and Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had also been considered until he asked that his name be removed from the list of candidates. A Coptic Christian, Ghali is a specialist in international law who played a key role in talks that led to the U.S.-brokered Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Ghali obtained a law degree from Cairo University in 1946 and pursued graduate studies in political science and international law in France. He obtained a doctorate from Paris University in 1949 and from then until 1977, he was a professor of international law at Cairo University.
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