Under Fire

A year into office, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali finds himself and the U.N. tested by the new world disorder

THE POST OF U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL MAY WELL BE ONE OF THE world's most thankless jobs. Whoever holds it is somehow expected to do the impossible: calm crises around the world, search for compromise among a welter of contending national agendas, enforce international agreements -- and do it all with seemingly never sufficient resources.

Despite those challenges, when Javier Perez de Cuellar prepared to leave the office in late 1991, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister and one of the world's better-known diplomats, lobbied hard to be his successor. Boutros-Ghali, now 70, had ambitious ideas -- foremost among them the desire to...

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