30 հունվար, 2016 19:23

The Ultimate UN Insider, the Man Ban Ki-moon Tipped His Hat To: Jean Gazarian Passed Away in New York

Jean Gazarian, at right, on the podium of the General Assembly, at the opening of the International Conference on Kampuchea in 1981. (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata) Jean Gazarian, at right, on the podium of the General Assembly, at the
opening of the International Conference on Kampuchea in 1981.
(UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata)

The UN has announced the sad news of the passing of Jean Gazarian, “The Youngest Member of the United Nations”. Paris-born Jean Gazarian passed away on 18 January, in New York.

The UN News Center describes Mr. Gazarian as “A staff member whose six-decade career offered him a rare opportunity to witness the various moments and milestones along the path that saw a nascent 51-member Organization develop into the 193-strong world body it is today.”

After graduating from the Sorbonne, in 1946, Jean Gazarian joined the UN as a translator, only eight months into the existence of the international organization.

Jean Gazarian retired from his post as Director of the Division of General Assembly Affairs in the late 1980s but continued his UN service, for another 20 years, training diplomas and UN staff as a full-time Senior Fellow at he UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), He also served as a liaison, lecturer, tour guide and institutional historian.

In an article from December 1989, the UN Chronicle writes, “As the Secretariat's Director of General Assembly Affairs, his task was to keep things moving smoothly, to make sure that the world forum's delicate fabric remained reasonably unperturbed even in the face of diplomatic wrangling, protocol snafus or bomb scares”.

At right is the President of Togo, Etienne Eyadama. At centre is Jean Gazarian, Senior Officer, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, 1970.  UN Photo At right is the President of Togo, Etienne Eyadama. At centre is Jean Gazarian, Senior Officer, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, 1970. UN Photo

“He was absolutely unique as a person,” Ahmad Kamal, Ambassador and Jean Gazarian’s colleague  as Senior Fellow at UNITAR, told the UN News Centre. “His knowledge, his devotion to the UN and the manner in which he inspired love and affection among thousands of UN diplomats and staff members made him a prince among men.”

During is long career, Jean Gazarian also lectured at the Drew University. The University's magazine writes, quotes Political Science Associate Professor Debra Liebowitz, “In the corridors of the U.N., Gazarian was the ultimate insider… the living history of the U.N…. There is absolutely no way anyone could know the history of the UN the way he knows the history. He would provide historical context for a lot of the issues we were talking about".

 

http://youtu.be/rVtBFm_cOl4

On December 4, 2013, during the event marking the 50th Anniversary of UNITAR and honoring Mr. Jean Gazarian, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “Mr. Gazarian: this 50th anniversary event also marks 67 years of your relationship with the United Nations. That’s right, a remarkable 67 years. You joined the Secretariat in 1946, when the UN was in its infancy – and when you were pretty young yourself! You had a unique perch, working with the General Assembly for many years. You have truly seen it all, a lot of things, if I may just recall: sg-50th-anniversary-ny1-250

Nikita Krushchev’s shoes in the General Assembly.

Fidel Castro’s marathon speech.

There may be many in your memory. And, I am sure, enough behind-the-scenes intrigue to fill a movie or a memoir.  But of course, as a consummate international civil servant, you will never betray your oath of confidentiality!

You served several Secretaries-General.  Most of all, you earned the respect of colleagues around the world.

Thank you for what is truly a lifetime devoted to the international public service. Congratulations once again to UNITAR on this occasion.  I wish you much success in the years ahead in carrying out your important work.

Thank you, Mr. Gazarian”.