When Javier Pérez de Cuéllar was elected secretary-general of the United Nations few believed that the colorless Peruvian diplomat would be more than a temporary placeholder. Those perceptions appeared to be confirmed during 1982 when the UN was unable to intervene effectively in the Falklands War or prevent another outbreak of mideastern violence. Pérez de Cuéllar originally intended to serve only a single term, and had he done so the world would today be a more dangerous place. During Pérez de Cuéllar's second five year term (1986-1991), a series of successful operations in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Africa demonstrated that the UN could play an important role in international affairs. Almost totally lacking in personal charisma, he showed that the office of secretary-general was not impotent. He brought the UN closer to the dream of its founders than any other leader of the world body.
About the Author
George J. Lankevich is Professor Emeritus of History, City University of New York. A specialist in modern world history and urban politics, he is the author/editor of over twenty volumes of history including The United Nations War Crimes Commission (1990). His recent books include American Metropolis: A History of New York City (1998), The Modern World: A History (2000), and the forthcoming Postcards from Times Square (2001).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1 Pérez de Cuéllar Takes Command Chapter 3 Appendix 1A: The Fifth Secretary-General Chapter 4 2 Years of Discontent Chapter 5 Appendix 2A: The United States Leaves UNESCO Chapter 6 3 Changing Tides Chapter 7 Appendix 3A: The Waldheim Affair Chapter 8 4 Completing the Mission Chapter 9 Appendix 4A: The UN and Lebanon Hostages Chapter 10 Chronology, 1981-1991 Chapter 11 Appendix A United Nations Members Chapter 12 Appendix B Excerpt from the Charter of the United Nations Chapter 13 Bibliography Chapter 14 Index Chapter 15 About the Author