8 April 2024 - It is with a heavy heart that we learned of the passing of Mr. Marcel André Boisard, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and former Executive Director of UNITAR from 1992 to 2007. The news of his departure has deeply saddened us all.

Mr. Boisard was not only a respected leader but also a distinguished figure in the academic, diplomatic and humanitarian realms. He brought wisdom, guidance, and a compassionate spirit to every aspect of his work. His dedication and commitment have left an indelible mark on our Institute and all who had the privilege to work alongside him.

After having joined the Institute as “Special Fellow” in June 1980 he led UNITAR through its difficult times during the 1980s as the Director of the European Office, and 1990s as the Executive Director, rebuilding the Institute at its Headquarters which was moved to Geneva from New York following a General Assembly resolution (A/Res/47/227). This move marked a kind of rebirth for UNITAR. Over the course of his tenure as Executive Director, the Institute developed a broad portfolio of programmes in international affairs, peace, diplomacy, and social and economic development. UNITAR would not be what it is today without his inspiration, steadfast determination, and leadership.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Boisard had a distinguished international career, serving as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and undertaking diplomatic and humanitarian missions. His contributions included conducting high-level negotiations and overseeing the implementation of the Geneva Conventions in conflict zones in the Middle East.

As a Fellow of the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Mr. Boisard led research and training programmes funded by the Ford Foundation. He also co-founded and served as Secretary-General of the International Cultural Association "Islam and the West," publishing extensively on international relations and intergovernmental organizations.

His visionary leadership and unwavering commitment have shaped the Institute's trajectory and fostered a legacy of excellence that will endure for generations to come. He was not only a mentor and guide but also a source of inspiration for all who crossed paths with him.

His legacy continues to inspire us all.

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