NEW YORK (UN News Centre/New York Times) — Jean Gazarian died on January 18, 2016. He was an international civil servant who, working under every Secretary-General of the United Nations, spent more than six decades dedicated to world peace.
A mentor to so many, a true humanitarian, a gentle and kind man, he was highly respected for his integrity and generosity, and inspired love and affection to all those who met him.
From 1946, when the French national joined the UN Secretariat as a translator, to his tenure as director of the Division of General Assembly Affairs, Gazarian devoted his life to international public service.
Jean Gazarian joined the United Nations in 1946, when he was 24. He served first as a translator, then as an editor and, in 1959, was called to work in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General to deal with General Assembly affairs. In 1966, he became Director of the Division of the General Assembly Affairs, a position he held for 18 years. A witness to many world events, he met kings and queens, and presidents, but always remained humble. Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), told the UN News Centre: “He was absolutely unique as a person. 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.”
“He was absolutely unique as a person,” Ahmad Kamal, ambassador and 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.”
In 2013, during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of UNITAR, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Gazarian, tipping his hat to the wealth of accumulated knowledge accrued by the veteran staff member.