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Oral history interview with Sir Brian Urquhart, 2000

Creator: Urquhart, Brian
Project: United Nations intellectual history project (UNIHP).
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 43 pages Sound recording: 1 digital audio tape
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Personal Assistant to UN Secretary General

Scope and Contents

Background and childhood: born in England, 1919; education: Oxford University; career: British soldier, 1939-45, personal assistant to acting Secretary-General, 1945, personal assistant to first United Nations [UN] Secretary-General, involvement in issues related to international peace and security, 1954-71, under-secretary-general for special political affairs, 1971, retirement, 1986; themes: experience writing autobiography, biographies of other diplomats, colonialism and African independence, instability in African nations as a result of colonialism and independence, role of the Economic Commissions for Europe [ECE] during the Cold War, significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR], UDHR influence on global human rights movements, roles of specialized UN agencies, UN peacekeeping after Bangladesh secession from Pakistan, lack of accountability for Secretariat in UN, effect of McCarthyism on international civil service, differences between UN secretariat and national governments, importance of global conferences and reports, ideas for UN Secretariat reform, instances of members pursuing personal agendas in UN General Assembly, changing relevance of UN, colleague reminiscences


Access Conditions

Copyright by the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, 2000

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