Javier Felipe Ricardo Pérez de Cuéllar de la Guerra KCMG (/ˈpɛrɛs də ˈkweɪjɑː/; Spanish: ; January 19, 1920 – March 4, 2020) was a Peruvian politician and diplomat who served as the fifth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1982 to December 31, 1991. He ran unsuccessfully against Alberto Fujimori for President of Peru in 1995 and following Fujimori's resignation over corruption charges, he was Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2000 until July 2001. In September 2004, he stepped down from his position as Peru's Ambassador to France, where he formerly resided. He is also a member of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 100 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democracy worldwide. At the age of 100 years, 46 days, Pérez de Cuéllar was both the oldest living former Peruvian prime minister and Secretary General of the United Nations, until his death on March 4, 2020.
1.1 Early years
1.2 Diplomatic career
1.3 United Nations Secretary-General
1.4 Later life
3 Honours and awards
4 See also
7 External links
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar was born on January 19, 1920 in Lima. He studied in Colegio San Agustín of Lima, and then at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
Pérez de Cuéllar joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1940 and the diplomatic service in 1944, serving subsequently as Secretary at Peru's embassy in France, where he met and married his first wife, Yvette Roberts (died Lisbon, 2013). He also held posts in the United Kingdom, Bolivia, and Brazil, and later served as ambassador to Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Poland, and Venezuela. From his first marriage, he has a son, Francisco, born in Paris, and a daughter, Águeda Cristina, born in London.
He was a junior member of the Peruvian delegation to the first session of the General Assembly, which convened in London in 1946, and a member of the delegations to the 25th through 30th sessions of the Assembly. In 1971, he was appointed permanent representative of Peru to the United Nations, and he led his country's delegation to all sessions of the Assembly from then until 1975.
In 1973 and 1974, he represented his country in the Security Council, serving as its President at the time of the events in Cyprus in July 1974. On September 18, 1975, he was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus – a post he held until December 1977, when he rejoined the Peruvian Foreign Service. On 29 October 1975, in Cyprus, Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar married his second wife, the former Marcela Temple Seminario (14 August 1933, – 3 July 2013) with whom he had no children.
On February 27, 1979, he was appointed as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. From April 1981, while still holding this post, he acted as the Secretary-General's Personal Representative on the situation relating to Afghanistan. In that capacity, he visited Pakistan and Afghanistan in April and August of that year in order to continue the negotiations initiated by the Secretary-General some months earlier.
United Nations Secretary-General
Pérez de Cuéllar and President of Iran Ali Khamenei, 13 September 1987, Tehran
On December 31, 1981, Pérez de Cuéllar succeeded Kurt Waldheim as Secretary-General and was re-elected for a second term in October 1986. During his two terms, he led mediations between Britain and Argentina in the aftermath of the Falklands War and promoted the efforts of the Contadora Group to bring peace and stability to Central America. He also interceded in the negotiations for the independence of Namibia, the conflict in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the war between Croatian forces seeking independence and the Yugoslav federal as well as local Serb forces, and the Cyprus issue. He also presided in 1986 an international arbitration committee that ruled on the Rainbow Warrior incident between New Zealand and France. In 1983 he initiated the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in order to unite countries to pursue sustainable development.
Shortly before the end of his second term, he rejected an unofficial request by members of the Security Council to reconsider his earlier decision not to run for a third term, shortened to two years, as a search for his successor had not, as of then, yielded a consensus candidate. A candidate was found in late December 1991, and his second term as Secretary-General concluded, as scheduled, on December 31, 1991.
Pérez de Cuéllar, 18 August 2015
On July 22, 2005, Pérez de Cuéllar suffered a heart attack and was admitted to a hospital in Paris, he was released on July 30.
On June 19, 2017, with a lifespan of 35,581 days he surpassed Alfredo Solf y Muro (1872–1969) in terms of longevity and is now the oldest former Prime Minister in Peru's history. On 24 October 2018, it was reported that he died. The report was later denied.
Pérez de Cuéllar was portrayed by Arturo Venegas in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's controversial The Falklands Play.
On August 30, 2017, as a follow up to the Black Swan Project, Spanish naval authorities salvaged the artillary remains of the frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes which had sank in 1804 and two of whose bronze cannons, weighing between 2 and 3 tonnes each, had been cast in Lima by Sevilian smelter Bernardino de Tejeda. Two of Tejeda's direct descendants and the members of the 1942 team in charge of the restoration of his sepulchral crypt were the future Peruvian Ambassadors Carlos Pérez Cánepa Jimenez and Pérez de Cuéllar, then 24 and 22 years old.
Ufologist Bud Hopkins has alleged that Pérez de Cuéllar was a witness and key figure in the 1989 Manhattan UFO incident involving Linda Napolitano.
Honours and awards
1992: Freedom medal
National University of San Marcos Honorary Doctorate
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
University of Lima
Journalistic prize Golden Doves for Peace issued by the Italian Research Institute Archivio Disarmo
US Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded in 1991 by George H.W. Bush, under section Other Political Figures.
Member, Inter-American Dialogue
Jawaharlal Nehru Award
List of oldest living state leaders
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