Perez de Cuellar was a two-time head of the United Nations, which he led from 1982 to 1991 as some of the iciest years of the Cold War gave way to the end of the Soviet Union and greater efforts at international cooperation.
Perez de Cuellar was the fifth head of the world body and its only leader from Latin America to date.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres hailed Perez de Cuellar’s crucial role in securing the release of American hostages held in Lebanon as well as peace accords in Cambodia and El Salvador during his time in office.
“He was an accomplished statesman, a committed diplomat and a personal inspiration who left a profound impact on the United Nations and our world,” Guterres said.
Perez de Cuellar once said his proudest achievements were his role in security independence for Namibia and the peace accord that ended the Iran-Iraq conflict. However, his diplomatic efforts were unable to halt the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1990.