Diplomat who was a key player in establishing the UN’s peacekeeping role

Sir Brian Urquhart, who has died aged 101, was best known as the principal architect of the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities. He was present at the birth of the UN and worked there continuously at senior level for four decades, securing a reputation as the leading authority on the organisation.

Urquhart took part in the UN’s foundation in 1945, having joined the preparatory commission in London that drew up the UN charter, as an assistant to Sir Gladwyn Jebb, its executive secretary. Rather than entering the British diplomatic service, Urquhart opted to become an international civil servant in the emerging UN secretariat, wishing to give it his undivided loyalty.

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