Boutros-Ghali Observatory launched in Paris
Inaugurated at an event in Paris on March 31, the Boutros-Ghali Observatory is a new initiative promoted by the French, Canadian and Belgian governments which seeks to improve peacekeeping operations in Francophone countries. As many as 7 out of 16 United Nations peace operations are currently located in countries where French is frequently spoken. The observatory, by focusing on better tailoring peacekeeping missions to Francophone environments and pooling Francophone countries’ experiences together, could thus make a significant impact on the UN’s operations.
The Observatory also intends to act as a nexus for cooperation between experts from Francophone countries. Indeed, the Observatory’s own Research and Information Group on Peace and Safety (GRIP), headquartered in Brussels, is already involved with researchers from the Catholic University of Louvain/Leuven (Belgium) and the Network for Peace Operations (Canada).
The Observatory’s ethos is embodied by its homage to the late former U.N. Secretary General, Mr. Boutros-Ghali (1922-2016). In addition to his work at the U.N., Mr. Boutros-Ghali also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. His commitment to peaceful international relations had brought him to help negotiate the Camp David accords. He also showed a keen interest in the French language and, following his term as Secretary General, served for five years as Secretary General of the Francophonie.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali was also one of the most important supporters of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. In a message addressed to the campaign's supporters he wrote in 2007 that "we need to promote the democratization of globalization, before globalization destroys the foundations of national and international democracy. The establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations has become an indispensable step to achieve democratic control of globalization.”