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Sir Brian Urquhart

Sir Brian Urquhart
Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Biography Biography in PDF

United Nations
Reflections on the United Nations
Interviews of Sir Brian Urquhart
by Ms. Virginia Morris, Principal Legal Officer
Codification Division, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs


Part I.  The Role of the United Nations
in a Changing World
Sir Brian Urquhart discusses the role of the United Nations in a changing world, including the end of the wartime alliance, the Cold War, the introduction of nuclear weapons as well as the increase in the membership of the Organization following decolonization.  He also discusses the Charter of the United Nations as the blueprint for achieving the goals of the Organization more than a half century after its adoption.

Video   (30 minutes)
United Nations
Reflections on the United Nations

Part I. The Role of the United Nations in a Changing World
A. Legal Instruments
Charter of the United Nations, San Francisco, 26 June 1945.

Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Paris, 10 December 1948.
B. Documents
Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy (the Acheson-Lilienthal Report), 16 March 1946.

Plan introduced by Bernard Baruch, Representative of the United States of America, to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, 14 June 1946.

Second and final report of the Secretary-General on the plan for an emergency international United Nations force requested in the resolution (A/3276) adopted by the General Assembly on 4 November 1956 (A/3302, 6 November 1956).

Ronald Reagan, “Democracy’s Next Battle”, speech addressed to the Oxford Union Society, 4 December 1992, Oxford, EnglandPDF(Courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library).
C. Doctrine
B. Urquhart and E. Childers, A World in Need of Leadership: Tomorrow's United Nations; a Fresh Appraisal, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 1996.

B. Urquhart and E. Childers, Renewing the United Nations System, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 1994.

B. Urquhart, Ralph Bunche: An American Life, W. W. Norton, 1993.

B. Urquhart, Great Problems Great Opportunities, Center for International Relations, 1992.

B. Urquhart and E. Childers, Towards a More Effective United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 1991.

B. Urquhart, Reorganization of the United Nations Secretariat: a suggested outline for needed reforms, Ford Foundation, 1991.

B. Urquhart, A Life in Peace and War, Harper & Row, 1987.

B. Urquhart, Hammarskjöld, Knopf, 1972 (reprinted by W. W. Norton, 1994).

B. Urquhart and E. Childers, A World in Need of Leadership: Tomorrow's United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation; 1990.

B. Urquhart, “The United Nations Rediscovered?”, World Policy Journal, XXI: 2, summer 2004.

B. Urquhart, “Where Are We Going?”, 3 Brown J. World Aff. 145, 1996.

B. Urquhart, L. Henkin, R. Butler, “Yesterday’s Politics, Tomorrow’s Problems: A World without the United Nations?”, 20 Melb. U. L. Rev. 16, 1995-1996.

B. Urquhart, “The United Nations forward or back?” The Seventeenth Corbishley Memorial Lecture, Wyndham Place Trust, 1994.

B. Urquhart, “Problems and Prospects of the United Nations”, 44 Int’l J. 803, 1988-1989.

D. Recommended Interviews
A Life in Peace and War: Conversation with Sir Brian Urquhart Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley March 19, 1996 by Harry Kreisler

The United Nations after 9/11: Conversation with Sir Brian Urquhart Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley February 23, 2004 by Harry Kreisler
Secretary-General Presents Citizen of the World Award to Former Under-Secretary-General Brian Urquhart. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) hands the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Citizen of The World Award to Brian Urquhart, at the 10th Annual UNCA Awards, today at UN Headquarters. Brian Urquhart, is one of the original members of the United Nations, a former UN Under-Secretary-General, and pioneer of peacekeeping (02 December 2005).


Secretary-General Presents Citizen of the World Award to Former Under-Secretary-General Brian Urquhart

Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) hands the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Citizen of The World Award to Brian Urquhart, at the 10th Annual UNCA Awards, today at UN Headquarters. Brian Urquhart, is one of the original members of the United Nations, a former UN Under-Secretary-General, and pioneer of peacekeeping (02 December 2005).