Pérez de Cuéllar, Javier

Pérez de Cuéllar, Javier,

1920–, Peruvian diplomat, secretary-general of the United NationsUnited Nations
(UN), international organization established immediately after World War II. It replaced the League of Nations. In 1945, when the UN was founded, there were 51 members; 193 nations are now members of the organization (see table entitled United Nations Members).
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 (1982–92). He entered the Peruvian foreign service in 1940 and served in several posts, including ambassador to the USSR (1969–71) and the United Nations (1971–75). He represented the United Nations on the CyprusCyprus
, Gr. Kypros, Turk. Kıbrıs, officially Republic of Cyprus, republic (2005 est. pop. 780,000), 3,578 sq mi (9,267 sq km), an island in the E Mediterranean Sea, c.40 mi (60 km) S of Turkey and c.60 mi (100 km) W of Syria.
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 problem (1975–78) before being elected (1982) to succeed Kurt WaldheimWaldheim, Kurt
, 1918–2007, Austrian diplomat, secretary-general of the United Nations (1972–81) and president of Austria (1986–92). He entered diplomatic service after World War II, serving in France and Canada.
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 as secretary-general. Serving two terms, he restored UN prestige, aided by the end of the cold warcold war,
term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and
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, and was a strong advocate of its peacekeeping efforts. He personally negotiated the cease-fire (1988) that ended the Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq War,
1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns
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, secured the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and brokered the 1991 Cambodian peace accord. Under his leadership UN negotiators obtained the release of the Americans held hostage in Lebanon, and he personally negotiated a peace pact between El Salvador's government and rebels. He was succeeded by Boutros Boutros-GhaliBoutros-Ghali, Boutros
, 1922–2016, Egyptian statesman, secretary-general of the United Nations (1992–96). Born into a politically connected Coptic Christian family, he earned degrees in law at the universities of Cairo (LL.B., 1946) and Paris (Ph.D., 1949).
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 of Egypt. Pérez de Cuéllar was an unsuccessful candidate for the Peruvian presidency in 1995. In 2000 he was appointed Peruvian prime minister by interim president Valentín Paniagua.