Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar assumed office as Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 1982. On 10 October 1986, he was appointed for a second term of office, which began on 1 January 1987.
Mr. Perez de Cuellar was born in Lima, Peru, on 19 January 1920. He is a lawyer and a career diplomat, now retired.
He joined the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1940 and the diplomatic service in 1944, serving subsequently as Secretary at the Peruvian embassies in France, the United Kingdom, Bolivia and Brazil, and as Counsellor and Minister Counsellor at the embassy in Brazil. Mr. Perez de Cuellar was Ambassador of Peru to Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Poland and Venezuela. In October 1987, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for the promotion of Ibero-American co-operation. In January 1989, he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize for International Understanding and Common Security by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund. In February 1989, he was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.