Former Secretary General of the UN, Dead


On March 28, 2001, Pérez de Cuéllar, former UN General Secretary, speaks to reporters. He died on March 4 (Photo Courtesy of AP Photo and Santiago Llanquin).

Sadie Kuhn, Staff Writer

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the secretary general of the United Nations, UN, from 1982 to 1991, died at 100. When he first started the job he was a compromise candidate when the UN wasn’t exactly respected. But he sought to turn it around and fix it. He played a major role in many diplomatic successes. Such as the independence of Namibia, an end to the Iran-Iraq War, the release of American hostages held in Lebanon, the peace accord in Cambodia and, on his final night of being secretary, he brought about his goal of a peace pact between the Salvadoran government and leftist rebels. 

Pérez de Cuéllar first got his start as a secretary at the Peruvian embassy in Paris in 1944. He even participated in the UN’s first General Assembly in 1946. He eventually became the undersecretary-general and a candidate for secretary general in December 1981 because of a six week deadlock between U.N. chief Kurt Waldheim and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Salim Ahmed Salim. He originally only wanted to serve one term but after overwhelming support he came back. During his time serving he was known for his diligent, quiet diplomacy. His funeral will be held this Friday, March 6.