Victor de Araujo, long-time Baha'i International Community representative to the UN, passes away

NORWALK, Conn., USA - Victor de Araujo, who represented the Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations for 23 years, passed away on 4 January 2001 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 78 years old.

Dr. de Araujo was born near London, England, and spent his childhood and youth in Brazil. He came to the United States in 1946 as a vice-consul to the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago, which was the same year that he became a Bahá'í. He later taught English at several colleges in Washington state.

From 1967 to 1990, Dr. de Araujo served as principal representative of the Bahá'í International Community to the United Nations. In his years in this position he was actively involved in issues of human rights, the environment, peace and disarmament, the family, the equality of men and women, and children and youth and attended meetings and conferences both at UN headquarters and around the world.

He also worked closely with a large number of international non-governmental organizations associated with the UN and chaired the Executive Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations with the UN Department of Public Information, as well as the UNICEF Non-Governmental Organizations Committee.

In a message, the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Bahá'í Faith, praised Dr. de Araujo, saying a "gentle spirit, a principled approach, a dignified bearing characterized his long years of outstanding service."

Dr. de Araujo is survived by his wife, Betty, of Vista, N.Y.; a son, Mark, of Danville, Ky.; a daughter, Susan (de Araujo) Dutton, of Newtown, Conn.; two brothers, Oscar, of Gainesville, Fla. and Nestor, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and four grandchildren.