VITAL SIGNSrnFOREIGN POLICYrnAu Revoiiy Boutrosrnby Frank RuddyrnBoutros Boutros-Ghali, for all his hauteurrnand condescending ways, hadrnan absolute genius for driving peoplerncrazv, as if there were an InspectorrnClouseau within him trying to get out.rnhi 1993, he went to Sarajevo and toldrnthose who had lost their families andrnhomes to stop their bellyaching. Hern”could name 10 places in the worldrnworse off.” At a news conference for thernbeginning of the U.N.’s Year of Tolerance,rnhe announced that Chinese dissidentsrnwould not be tolerated at the U.N.rnl ie barred them. At a ceremony at thernNational Archives, the Secretary Generalrnannounced proudly that through quietrndiplomacy, the U.N. had avoided “80rnimminent wars.” Which ones were they,rnthe press asked. Boutros-Ghali did notrnknow. And on and on. You could dinernout on Boutros-Ghali’s gaffes. Earlierrnthis year the LLN.’s Educational, Scientificrnand Cultural Organization (UNESCO)rngave its human rights award tornformer Haitian President ]ean-BertrandrnAristide, certifiable lunatic and practitionerrnof necklacing, i.e., placing burningrntires over the heads of political enemies.rnBoutros-Ghali may be gone, but as thernUNESCO award indicates, his legacyrnlives on.rnLast December, Boutros-Ghali wasrnfired as U.N. Secretary General, and KofirnAnnan of Ghana took over January 1.rnLast November, the Security Councilrnhad voted 14-1 in favor of a second termrnfor Boutros-Ghali, but the United Statesrnvetoed that decision. Since SecretaryrnGenerals usually serve two terms and arernselected on a rotating basis from thernAmericas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, thernperson selected to serve Boutros-Ghali’srnsecond term would also be an African,rnwho would be chosen before the U.N.rnGeneral Assembly adjourned in mid-rnDecember. The French, miffed at thernLInited States dissing of the Paris-educatedrnBoutros-Ghali, and sulking over thernI’nited States’ refusal to let France reenterrnNATO as a commander of the I’.S.rnSixth Fleet, wanted to be sure of anotherrnFrench-speaking Secretary General andrnsupported the Foreign Minister of thernIvorv Coast. The United States favoredrnthe English-speaking Kofi Annan, thernU.N. Undersecretary for Peacekeepingrnwho had been the answer to the Clintonrnadministration’s prayers since taking oerrnhis peacekeeping role in March 1993.rnAfter several days of nasty fighting in thernSecurity Council, the French blinked,rnand on December 13, Annan was in.rn”The French sold out easv,” according tornone U.N. watcher, trading its support forrnAnnan for the right to select the nextrnhead of U.N. peacekeeping.rnFive years ago, Boutros-Ghali wasrnhired as Secretary General to reform thernU.N. The Lf.N. still needs the reforms hernwas hired to make. On the 50th anniversaryrnof the U.N., Republican SenatorrnNancy Kassebaum and DemocraticrnCongressman Lee Hamilton, both UN.rnsupporters, wrote: “Today the U.N. is accountablernto no one. Despite thousandsrnof pages of budget documents preparedrneach year, we don’t know how many employeesrnit has, how funds are spent orrnwhich programs work. After a decade ofrn’no real budget growth’ the budget wasrnalmost doubled.” As Senator JessernHelms pointed out in Foreign Affairs lastrnyear, the U.N. bureaucracy proliferatedrnduring Boutros-Ghali’s watch, costs spiraled,rnand the U.N.’s mission expandedrnbevond its mandate while the U.N. itselfrnchanged from an organization ofrnsovereign states into a quasi-sovereignrnstate for which the United States paysrn$3.5 billion a year. Yet to hear Boutros-rnGhali tell it, they done him wrong.rnBoutros-Ghali had campaigned to hernSecretary General by pledging to steprndoyn after one term. That was supposedrnto free him from political pressures tornmake radical reforms. But earlier thisrnyear Boutros-Ghali, who described himselfrnto the New York Times Magazine asrnsomeone “who puts principle beforerndiplomacy,” reneged on his promise.rn”Only stupid people don’t change theirrnminds,” he argued. When the WhiternHouse said no way, Boutros-Ghalirnreplied that the United States’ rejectionrnof him, as Egyptian and as the firstrnAfrican Secretary General, smacked ofrn”racism.”rnHow African was this first African SecretaryrnGeneral? Well, he ignored Arabrnenslavement of black Africans in Mauritaniarnand Sudan, failed in Somalia, failedrnin Burundi, failed in Rwanda, and thernLf.N.’s shameful certification of thernfraudulent election results in Angolarnguaranteed the resumption of a bloodyrncivil war. He even failed in his own backyard.rnNorth Africa, because he would notrnblow the whistle on his old pal King Hassanrnof Morocco, who was stealing thernU.N. referendum in Western Sahara. AsrnGhana-born scholar George Ayitteyrnpointed out in the Wall Street ]ournal,rnthe only Africa Boutros-Ghali representedrnwas the Africa of his cronies, the kleptocratiernAfrican dictators who “clinkrnchampagne glasses” at O.A.U. galasrnwhile their countrymen go without shoesrnand medicine. I actualh’ saw this for myselfrnin Western Sahara. Boutros-Ghalirnwas feted by King Hassan’s representativesrnwith whom he carried on in elegantrnFrench, but to the poweriess local peoplernwhom Morocco was terrorizing, he usedrnthe most barbarous language, going sornfar as to respond to an inoffensive questionrnby a local leader by saying “fermezrnla,” the way you tell a dog to be quiet.rnYet appearing as an African martyr torngain a little sympath}’ is nothing new forrnBoutros-Ghali. When the British pressrnpunctured his ego a while back overrnBosnia, he pouted in print about whyrnFleet Street was so mean to him: “Maybernbecause I’m a wog.”rnEvery Secretary General has one specificrnduty: manage the U.N. Not a glamourrnjob perhaps, but an important onernthat Boutros-Ghali didn’t spend muchrntime on. “I don’t think management issuesrnare his favorites,” deadpannedrnMadeleine Albright, who describedrnBoutros-Ghali’s V.N. as “elephantine.”rnTime called it a “swamp.” AustralianrnRepresentative Richard Blitler believedrnthe U.N. bureaucracy was “designed inrnHell.” Even Sir Brian Urquhart, on mostrnoccasions a U.N. cheerleader, describedrnthe U.N. as “a ridiculous group of foreignersrnspending American tax dollars.”rn(A memorable and politically incorrectrnphrase-maker, it was Urquhart who said.rnMARCH 1997/43rnrnrn