Oral history interview with Brian Urquhart, 2000.

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Oral history interview with Brian Urquhart, 2000.

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.

transcript: 43 p.

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In 1945, four individuals who had worked on the Manhattan project-John L. Balderston, Jr., Dieter M. Gruen, W.J. McLean, and David B. Wehmeyer-formed a committee and wrote a letter to 154 public figures asking for their opinions about the possibility of the creation of a world government. Over the next year, as the various public figures responded to the letter, the responses were correlated into a report that was released in 1947. From the guide to the Balderston, John L., Jr. Colle...

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Urquhart, Brian

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Sir Brian Urquhart was born on Feb. 28, 1919; educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford Univ.; served in the Dorset Regiment and Airborne Forces during World War II; personal asst. to Gladwyn Jebb, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, London, 1945-46; personal asst. to Trygve Lie, 1st secretary general of the United Nations, 1946-49; member, Office of Undersecretary General For Special Political Affairs, 1954-71; active in organization and direc...

Weiss, Thomas George

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