Former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died.

Mr Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian, was 93.

He served one five-year term as UN chief from 1992 to 1996.

No further details were given.

The 15-member Security Council observed a minute's silence after his death was announced.

President Michael D Higgins said those who worked in the human rights community at an international level were aware of both Mr Boutros-Ghali's scholarship and the skill he brought to the resolution of many points of tension.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said Mr Boutros-Ghali was a powerful advocate for democracy and human rights throughout his career and said these values must remain at the forefront of the UN's response to today's crises. 

As the United Nations' first secretary-general from Africa, Mr Boutros-Ghali associated himself with the famine in Somalia and organised the first massive UN relief operation in the Horn of Africa nation.             

But success eluded him there and elsewhere as the United Nations tottered in an increasingly disorderly post-communist world, with the world body and the big Security Council powers underestimating the deep animosity behind many conflicts.             

He was criticised for the UN's failure to act during the1994 Rwandan Genocide and for not pushing hard enough for UN intervention to end Angola's civil war in the 1990s, which was at the time one of the longest-running conflicts in the world.             

Mr Boutros-Ghali found himself jeered in Sarajevo, Mogadishu and Addis Ababa. His style was to wade into crowds and confront protesters when security guards permitted.

"I am used to fundamentalists in Egypt arguing with me," he said.             

He shocked many in Sarajevo when he said he was not trying to belittle the horrors in Bosnia but that there were other countries where the "total dead was greater than here".             

In Ethiopia, he told Somali warlords and clan leaders to stop accusing the United Nations and him of colonialism, adding that Somalis should be worried that former colonial powers would ignore their plight if they continued to fight.             

"The Cold War is finished," he said. "Nobody is interested in the poor countries in Africa or anywhere in the world. They can easily forget Somalia in 24 hours."