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History of the United Nations

1991 - 2000

Date Milestones
31 May 1991
A cease-fire in the 16-year civil war in Angola is negotiated, then administered by the UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II).
3 December 1991
Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Boutros Boutros-Ghali is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations by the UN General Assembly, after recommendation of the Security Council.


31 December 1991
Agreement signed at UN Headquarters, through the good offices of the Secretary-General, between the Government of El Salvador and National Liberation Front (FMLN).
31 January 1992
Security Council Summit
First ever Security Council Summit, with leaders from all 15 members in attendance, is held in New York leading to the Secretary-General's report, An Agenda for Peace.
June 1992
UN Conference on Environment and Development, known as the Earth Summit
The UN Conference on Environment and Development, the "Earth Summit", is held in Rio De Janeiro attended by leaders from over 100 countries, the largest intergovernmental gathering in history, resulting in Agenda 21, a plan of action for sustainable development.
17 June 1992
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali issues "An Agenda for Peace" on preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Women dancing after the referendum
Eritrean independence was declared on 27 April, 1993 as a result of a referendum held with UN verification, with more than 98.5% of registered voters voting. Eritrea was subsequently admitted to membership in the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.
May 1993
Une électrice avec son enfant dans un bureauvote au Cambodge
UN-supervised elections were held in Cambodia, resulting in a new government, and the drafting of a new constitution, ending nearly 15 years of strife in the war-torn country.
June 1993
The World Conference on Human Rights is held in Vienna, which commemorated the International Year for the World's Indigenous People (1993)
6 May 1994
The Secretary-General produces a report on "An Agenda for Development", a blueprint for improving the human condition.
23 June 1994
First multiracial elections in South Africa
Elections are held in South Africa from 26 to 29 April, observed by 2,527 staff of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) deployed around the country. On 25 May, the Security Council lifted the arms embargo and other restrictions against South Africa. On 23 June, after 24 years, South Africa took its place once again in the General Assembly.
5-15 September 1994
International Conference on Population and Development
The International Conference on Population and Development, is held in Cairo, attended by representatives from 179 countries and addressed by 249 speakers. The Conference had population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development as its overall theme.
October 1994
Voters in front of a voting station
Mozambique's first multi-party elections are held on 27-29 October, monitored by some 2,300 international observers.
A worldwide, year-long programme of activities and celebrations marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations. The theme of the anniversary was "We the peoples of the United Nations...United for a Better World".
March 1995
World Summit for Social Development
The World Summit for Social Development — one of the largest gathering of world leaders in history — meets in Copenhagen to renew the commitment to combating poverty, unemployment and social exclusion.
26 June 1995
A conference is held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter.
September 1995
Chen Mehua, President of the Conference
The Fourth World Conference on Women meets in Beijing to continue international efforts to advance the status of women worldwide.
22-24 October 1995
UN50 is lit up on the UN building in New York
A special commemorative meeting attended by Heads of State and Government is held at Headquarters culminating the observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations.
10 September 1996
The General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. This is a turning point in the history of efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The treaty was opened for signature on 24 September.
17 December 1996
Kofi Annan
The General Assembly appoints by acclamation Kofi Annan, of Ghana, as the seventh United Nations Secretary-General with a term begining on 1 January 1997 and ending 31 December 2001.

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