Sir Brian Urquhart (b.1919) was active in the organization and direction of the United Nations (UN) Emergency Force in Middle
East (1956) and responsible for the organization and direction of UN peace-keeping operations and special political assignments.
Ralph Bunche (1904-1971) was the undersecretary for special political affairs at the UN (1958-67) and undersecretary general
(1968). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. The collection consists of papers about and collected by Ralph J. Bunche
and later used by Brian Urquhart to write
Ralph Bunche: an American Life (1993). Items in the collection include manuscripts, notebooks, project files, audiotape recordings, clippings, travel photographs,
With an extensive background with the United Nations, Sir Brian Urquhart became a central figure in debates over the future
of the United Nations and the role of UN security forces in the post-Cold War era. Born in England in 1919, he was educated
at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford University. After serving in the British army and military intelligence during
World War II in North Africa and Europe, he served as a personal assistant to Gladwyn Jebb, who established the Preparatory
Commission of the United Nations in London. From 1946 to 1949, he was personal assistant to the Trygve Lie, the first Secretary-General,
and subsequently he served in various capacities under Ralph Bunche between 1954 and 1971. Over this period, Sir Brian was
centrally involved in the conferences on peaceful uses of atomic energy, the Congo crisis in the early 1960s, and peacekeeping
in Cyprus, Kashmir, and the Middle East. In the period after 1972, Brian Urquhart was one of the principal political advisors
of the Secretary-General, and served as the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, working on Lebanon, Israel
and Palestine, and Namibia, among others. He retired from the United Nations Secretariat in 1986.
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