IPI HomeNewsComment & AnalysisGeorge Sherry (1924-2011)

 

print print |  share share back back

Comment & Analysis - October 27, 2011

George Sherry (1924-2011)

John L. Hirsch l Senior Adviser
hirsch@ipinst.org

George Sherry, an adviser to former International Peace Academy Presidents Olara Otunnu and David Malone from 1995-1998, passed away on October 21st after a long illness. George brought his extensive knowledge and insights on the Middle East and Cyprus from his long experience at the United Nations to inform conferences and publications of IPA, which changed its name to the International Peace Institute (IPI) in 2008. He also organized the Simulation Exercises for the IPA Training seminar in Vienna. George is well remembered for sharing his UN experience with great wit and charm with the next generation of IPA researchers and staff.

A graduate of the City College of New York and fluent in five languages, George had a distinguished career at the UN. He joined the organization as an editor and interpreter at the height of the Cold War, interpreting speeches from Russian to English in the General Assembly and other UN bodies with great skill. As noted in the October 27th New York Timesobituary, interpretations of speeches by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky became well known for being “just as impassioned, angry, sarcastic, sardonic, pleading and furious” as the original largely extemporized speech in Russian.

In 1960, George joined the UN Secretariat, working for 25 years in the Special Political Affairs Department (the predecessor of DPA and DPKO) as part of the small team led by Undersecretary-General Brian Urquhart. This included assignments as Political Officer in the newly independent Congo following the Katanga secession, negotiating the establishment of a UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) during the Greek-Turkish war, as well as directing UN efforts in peacekeeping in Kashmir in 1965 and the Falklands War in 1982-83.



Following his retirement from the UN in 1985, George became Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College. He was the Founder and first Director of the Occidental College United Nations program until 2001, bringing over 300 students to hold internships in the UN Secretariat and member state missions as well as presenting courses on peacemaking and peacekeeping, the Middle East, and US foreign policy (I have run the program since 2002). At the 2005 20th anniversary celebration of the UN Program, Acting President Kenyon Chan awarded George an honorary degree in recognition of his service to the college. Flags have been flown at half mast on the Los Angeles campus this week in his memory.



Signed,
John L. Hirsch, IPI Senior Adviser
October 27, 2011

 
 

The Global Observatory

Can Russia Reshape Ukraine Without Firing a Shot?
To protect its interests, Russia is pushing for the federalization of Ukraine through economic influence and propaganda, but use of force could still be possible.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

March 26, 2014
Derek Plumbly on Lebanese Resilience Amid Rising Challenges
Lebanon has exceeded expectations in dealing with the continuing fallout from the crisis in neighboring Syria, said Derek Plumbly, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on March 26th. Speaking at the International Peace Institute, Mr. Plumbly praised the Lebanese people for “actually sustaining a measure of stability in their country.”

March 25, 2014
Adebajo, Panel Discuss African and African-American Nobel Peace Laureates
The ten Africans and three African-Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize comprise a complex group of peace leaders, said Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, on March 25th. He spoke as part of a panel at the International Peace Institute’s launch of Africa’s Peacemakers, Nobel Laureates of African Descent, edited by Mr. Adebajo.

View More