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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 II.  The Secretary-General of the
United Nations
In the second part of this series, Sir Brian Urquhart discusses the qualifications and selection process for the Secretary-General of the United Nations and offers suggestions for improving this process. He also discusses the importance of the role of the Secretary-General in the international community and how this role has involved as a result of the various individuals who have held this position over the years, with particular emphasis on the unique contribution of Dag Hammarskjöld.

Video   (16 min)
United Nations
Reflections on the United Nations

Part II. The Secretary-General of the United Nations
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

Commemoration webpage for Dag Hammarskjöld

The Secretary-General of the UN and his Aides. An informal conference between Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and some high officials of his Executive Office. From left to right are: Mr. Leo Malania, Senior Officer, Office of the Executive Assistant; Mr. Victor Mills, Executive Officer, Office of the Executive Assistant; Mr. Andrew W. Cordier, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General; Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld; and Mr. Brian E. Urquhart, Secretary of the forthcoming International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (12 April 1955).

The Secretary-General of the UN and his Aides

An informal conference between Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and some high officials of his Executive Office. From left to right are: Mr. Leo Malania, Senior Officer, Office of the Executive Assistant;
Mr. Victor Mills, Executive Officer, Office of the Executive Assistant; Mr. Andrew W. Cordier, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General; Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld; and Mr. Brian E. Urquhart, Secretary of the forthcoming International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy
(12 April 1955).