Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the United States and the New World Order

The genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans. Boutros Boutros Ghali Nov. 21, 2002.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali had the unfortunate role of being secretary general of the United Nations just when the United States proclaimed the New World Order. In ordinary language, that meant the US World Order, where one superpower decided on everything. Mr. Boutros-Ghali still believed in a multipolar, or at least a bipolar world. Here is how the former secretary general described the behaviour of the United States in a 2002 interview.

They didn’t want someone who would question their decisions. They wanted everything, and everything at once! You know, when people have power … I have worked with absolute rulers all my life. They cannot accept discussion; they cannot accept even a minimum of contradiction. I want that! And that’s all. What? You want to discuss the issue? I am the God of Gods, and I will have what I want. And you’re saying that you would like to think about it for a while? [1]

Boutros-Ghali began his mandate as secretary general of the United Nations in January 1992. He was the first African to hold the position. Among the most serious challenges during his mandate was the war in Rwanda that reached a climax in 1994. Washington so disliked Boutros-Ghali, whom US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called “Frenchie,” that they engineered a coup to have him removed and imposed their veto on a second term. He was replaced by Kofi Annan in 1996.

Washington offered Boutros Boutros-Ghali the sort of honours offered to other leaders who they remove. President Clinton promised to receive him at the White House, American Universities would grant him honorary doctorates, and more, but in return he had to step down as Secretary General of his own volition. Boutros-Ghali replied that he did not accept tips.

With his departure it is worth remembering what he said about the Rwandan tragedy:

“The genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans.”

Is it a wonder that he was so unceremoniously removed as secretary general of the UN?


[1] Robin Philpot, Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa, From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction, p. 224

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Articles by: Robin Philpot

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