On June, 21st 2018, The Hague Academy of International Law was the fitting setting for a gathering of friends, dignitaries, colleagues and former students of Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was a member of the Curatorium of the Academy for over 30 years and presided it for over 15 years, in an informal celebration of his life and legacy.
Guests from all over the world, from many walks of life and of all ages, gathered in the beautiful Auditorium to reminisce on and celebrate the extraordinary life of Egypt’s famous politician and diplomat who was Secretary-General of the United Nations, in the presence of Mrs. Leia Boutros-Ghali.
Speakers included, on behalf of the State of Egypt: H.E. Mr Mohammed Fayek, President of the Egyptian Council for Human Rights and former student of Dr. Boutros-Ghali; H.E. Mr Ahmed Farouk, Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs and H.E. Mr. Amgad Abdel Ghaffar, Ambassador of Egypt in the Netherlands.
Ms. Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague and Alderman for Education, Knowledge Economy and International Affairs spoke of the great impact Dr. Boutros-Ghali had on the development of the City of The Hague and its reputation as the Capital of Peace.
Further speakers, on behalf of The Hague Academy of International Law, were H.E. Ms. Xue Hanqin, Vice-President of the International Court of Justice and former member of the Curatorium who worked closely with Dr. Boutros-Ghali and had many warm memories of him; Professor Geneviève Bastid-Burdeau, former Secretary-General, recounted her first meeting with him and told of her many years of personal friendship with the family. She evoked, like did later on Professor Yves Daudet, President of the Curatorium and also former Secretary-General of the Academy, the years of work under his authority, and the multiple facets of the likeable personality of this great man. As last official speaker, Dr. Bernard Bot, Former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Carnegie Foundation, also spoke of his experiences with Dr. Boutros-Ghali, after which Professor Daudet opened the floor to anyone in the audience who wished to say a few words.
Mr. Stéphane Lopez, Permanent Representative at the European Union of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), took this opportunity to speak eloquently of the contribution that Boutros-Ghali was to the continued role of the OIF in promoting communication over conflict, and of his admiration for the man Boutros-Ghali was.
The afternoon was concluded with a reception offered by the City of The Hague in the main hall of the Academy where many more stories and remembrances and plans for the future were exchanged.