SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS DEATH OF KENNETH DADZIE ROBS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF OUTSTANDING CIVIL SERVANT
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS DEATH OF KENNETH DADZIE ROBS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF OUTSTANDING CIVIL SERVANT19951114 Economic and Social Council Holds Special Meeting in Memory of Former UNCTAD Secretary-General
The death of Kenneth K.S. Dadzie, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1986 to 1994, had robbed the international community of one of its outstanding civil servants, according to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Mr. Dadzie died last month in London, where he was serving as Ghana's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
In his message to a special commemorative meeting of the Economic and Social Council held this morning to pay tribute to Mr. Dadzie, the Secretary- General said that he had such diplomatic skills that he had been able to untie the most complicated diplomatic knots with quiet determination and firmness of purpose. The Secretary-General's remarks were read on his behalf by the Under-Secretary-General for Peace-Keeping Operations, Ismat Kittani.
The Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Rubens Ricupero, said Mr. Dadzie had left an indelible mark on the work of the organization. The UNCTAD had been able to adapt to change as a result of his efforts.
Mr. Dadzie had been the quintessential international civil servant and diplomat who had been "profoundly African and thoroughly cosmopolitan", said Patrizio Civili, a Director in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
The Permanent Representative of Ghana, George O. Lamptey, thanking the Council for the tributes and the meeting to honour his countryman, described Mr. Dadzie as "a diplomat's diplomat, quiet in demeanour and friendly to all. Ken was modest to a fault. He was a savant and brilliant administrator. He served Africa well and was a jewel as far as Ghana was concerned. He was a colleague looked up to by all of us because his reputation was towering."
The meeting was chaired by Council President, Ahmad Kamal (Pakistan). The Representatives of Egypt; the Philippines (representing the "Group of 77" developing countries and China); Spain (for the European Union); China (on behalf of the Asian Group); and Jamaica (for the Latin American and Caribbean Group) and Jane Jopling, a former Director of the North American Office of the World Food Programme, spoke of Mr. Dadzie's life and work.
Born on 10 September 1930, Mr. Dadzie joined the United Nations in 1963, contributing, in different capacities, to the work of the Organization in the fields of decolonization and development cooperation.
He served from 1978 to 1982 as Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation, and from 1986 as Secretary-General of UNCTAD -- the two highest positions in the Organization concerned with development policies and international cooperation for development.
During his eight years as Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Dadzie guided the institution through two landmark Conferences -- UNCTAD VII in Geneva and UNCTAD VIII in Cartagena -- which have introduced major reforms to strengthen the contribution of UNCTAD to the work of the Organization in the interrelated areas of trade, finance, investment, technology and development. Because of his vast experience, the Secretary-General also designated him, in 1993, as his Special Adviser and Delegate on the reform of the economic and social sectors of the Organization.
Mr. Dadzie has also held senior posts in the service of the Government of Ghana, including Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Ambassador to Austria and Switzerland and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan), President of the Council, described Mr. Dadzie as someone who believed in an international ideal. He had sought to advance it "resolutely, even stubbornly", but always without fanfare. His achievements had been attained through careful preparation and hard work.
Mr Dadzie had helped UNCTAD reassess its role. The void created by his death could not be filled.
ISMAT KITTANI, Under-Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, said Mr Dadzie's untimely death had robbed the international community of one of its outstanding civil servants. He had been a person of great gentleness and humour, devoted to service and the international community.
Mr. Dadzie's diplomatic skills had been such that he had been able to untie the most complicated diplomatic knots with quiet determination and
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firmness of purpose, he continued. He had piloted UNCTAD through UNCTAD VII and UNCTAD VIII, and had been the Secretary-General's special adviser for reform in the economic and social fields.
Speaking for himself, Mr. Kittani recalled that he had known Mr. Dadzie since 1967 as junior members of their respective missions to the United Nations. As the "young Turks" in the United Nations, they had tried to redo the Organization. Mr Dadzie had been a "serene man who radiated serenity".
RUBENS RICUPERO, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, said Mr Dadzie had left an indelible mark on the work of the Organization. He had been knowledgeable of the United Nations system and had helped in reforms of the system.
As Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Dadzie had prepared for UNCTAD VII at a time when North-South dialogue seemed to be in a deadlock. Many had been pessimistic that the conference would succeed. However, Mr. Dadzie had turned the tide and the decisions had been adopted by consensus. The UNCTAD had been able to adapt to change as a result of Mr. Dadzie's efforts. Mr. Dadzie believed that UNCTAD had a historic mission, he said. The former UNCTAD Secretary-General had said that while the issues at stake and the protagonists had changed, its struggle for equity had not changed and Members should help ensure that it succeeded in its endeavours. Mr. Dadzie's inspiration would be a guide. His death was a great loss to the international community, but his work would live on.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) expressed his sadness at the loss of a close friend and dedicated colleague. Mr. Dadzie had represented his country with great dedication. He had worked at the highest levels in the field of development in the United Nations. He had outstanding diplomatic skills and leadership qualities. Also to be admired were the patience and untiring efforts he had displayed in his work. His death was a loss for his county, the African continent and the United Nations.
PATRIZIO CIVILI, Director, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, said Mr. Dadzie had been one of the strongest influences on his own life. He was the quintessential international civil servant and diplomat. He was "profoundly African and thoroughly cosmopolitan". His success in negotiations had been helped by several factors. He had been highly principled and had infinite faith in the rationality of human beings. He was elegant in language and delivery. He commanded admiration, loyalty and affection. The term "grace under pressure" fitted him perfectly. His achievements should not be forgotten; rather, his contributions should be drawn upon to guide the future.
JANE JOPLING, former Director of the North American Office of the World Food Programme, said she had had the good fortune to work with Mr. Dadzie in the 1970s. It had not always been easy, because his standards had been so high. But, she said, she had learnt tremendously from him. He had inspired
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true idealism about the United Nations. Quoting George Eliot, she said Mr. Dadzie had been one of those who lived again in the minds of his friends and colleagues made better by his presence.
JIMMY BLAS (Philippines), speaking for the Group of 77 and China, said Mr. Dadzie had left an indelible imprint on the lives of those with whom he had worked. The plight of the poor and underprivileged was of great concern to him.
GOMEZ ACEBO (Spain), also speaking for the European Union, said Mr. Dadzie was one of the most remarkable persons to have served the United Nations. The Organization owed him an immense debt. He had helped promote social development for all peoples, and had helped handle reforms in the Secretariat in the economic and social sectors. He had sterling professional and personal qualities. The European Union extended its condolence to Ghana and his family. Mr. Dadzie's vision would continue to be inspiring.
QIN HUASAN (China), speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, regretted the untimely passing of Mr. Dadzie. He had made untiring contributions to the international economic order. The UNCTAD should strive for greater achievements in the North-South dialogue and in promoting the economic development of developing countries.
PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said it was particularly fitting that the Economic and Social Council met to pay tribute to Mr. Dadzie. He had helped in the development process all over the world. He was a superb diplomat, whose contribution to the culture of development had long been recognized. Mr. Dadzie embodied the high ideals of the United Nations. His standards should be remembered and emulated. She expressed condolence to his country and family.
GEORGE O. LAMPTEY (Ghana) thanked the speakers for their tributes to Mr. Dadzie. The Council met to pay tribute to the memory of one of Ghana's distinguished sons. It was proper that this honour should be bestowed in this Organization to which he had devoted the greatest part of his working life. After reviewing Mr. Dadzie's career, he said, he had been a "diplomat's diplomat, quiet in demeanour and friendly to all. Ken was modest to a fault. He was a savant and a brilliant administrator. He served Africa well and was a jewel as far as Ghana was concerned. He was a colleague looked up to by all of us because his reputation was towering."
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