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Former UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar dies at 100

Former United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar has died at his home on Wednesday night at 100, as reported by the Peruvian press.

Perez de Cuéllar’s wake will begin on Friday from 10.30 am (local time) in the Palace of Torre Tagle, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, and will be buried on Saturday in the Presbítero Maestro cemetery. His son Francisco Pérez de Cuéllar has indicated that at the funeral he will be honored as head of state, according to the Peruvian Government.

The president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, has “deeply” regretted the death of the diplomat, whom he has described as “Peruvian perign, Democrat by letter”. “He dedicated his entire life to work to enlarge our country,” he added through his account on the social network Twitter.

Also the current Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has extended his condolences to the family of Pérez de Cuéllar, the Peruvian people and many others “whose lives were touched by a remarkable and compassionate world leader who left our world in a place better”.

“He was an accomplished statesman, a committed diplomat and a personal inspiration that left a profound impact on the United Nations and our world,” Guterres said, according to a statement issued by his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

“The life of Pérez de Cuéllar covered not only a century, but also the entire history of the United Nations, since his participation in the first meeting of the General Assembly in 1946,” added the UN secretary general, an agency that has declared “mourning” for the death of the diplomat.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has assessed that the death of the diplomat is “a great loss for all.”

Pérez de Cuéllar, who turned 100 on January 19, held the position of Secretary General of the UN from January 1982 to December 1991, being the only Latin American to date led by the agency.

Previously, he was also a permanent representative of Peru to the UN between 1971 and 1975. Lawyer by profession, his diplomatic career began in 1944. He was ambassador of the Andean nation in Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Poland, Venezuela and France.

Regarding his political career, the diplomat ran for the presidency of Peru in the general elections of 1995, elections in which former President Alberto Fujimori was re-elected.

The former president Valentin Paniagua summoned him in November of the year 2000 to preside over the Council of Ministers of the Transitional Government, a position he accepted and held at the age of 81 until July 2001, together with the Peruvian Foreign Ministry.

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