LIMA : Former UN chief Javier Perez de Cuellar, who was known for his peace-making efforts including brokering a ceasefire in the Iran-Iraq war has died on Wednesday in his native Peru, aged 100, his son said.

Perez de Cuellar served as UN secretary general from from 1981 to 1991, when he was often described as a ''pacifist by vocation and nature.''

Lauded by his countrymen as one of the most illustrious Peruvians of his era, Perez de Cuellar led the United Nations through a period marked by the by the fight against world hunger, the eight year war between Iran and Iraq, as well as the  civil war in US-supported EI-Salvador which led to the UN mediated peace-talk.

Perez de Cuellar was known for his efforts to reconcile warring parties. He played a crucial role in ending the Iran-Iraq war, securing the release of  American hostages held in Lebanon and in peace agreements in Cambodia and EI Salvador, the UN said.

Perez de Cuellar considered the 1990 independence of Namibia, one of the last colonial enclaves on the African continents, his greatest accomplishment as  sectary general.

Perez de Cuellar's popularity prompted him to accept the presidential nomination from one of Peru's  leading political parties - the Union for Peru - in 1995, which pitted him against then incumbent president Alberto Fujimori.

The unifying force behind the Union for Peru, Perez de Cuellar won only 21.8 percent of vote, coming in second behind  Fujimori' who got 64.4 per cent.

In 1997, informants revealed that Perz de Cuellar had been subject to systematic surveillance and phone tapping during the campaign, ordered by the head of Fujimori's intelligence services Vlaadmiro Montesinos.

Following the collapse of Fujimori regime in November 2000, Perez de Cuellar was appointed head of a government of ''unity and national reconciliation.''

As a prime minster, he helped expose a web of corruption woven by Montesisnos over the course of  Fujimori's 10-year-rule..

In his statement the UN Secretary General Guetrres described Perez de Cuellar as ''an accomplished statesman, a committed diplomat and a personal inspiration who left a profound impact on the United Nations and our world''.

''Mr Perez de Cuellar's life spanned not only a century but also the entire history of the United Nations, dating back to his participation in the first meeting of the General Assembly in 1946,'' he said. [AFP]


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