Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm


1971: UN recognizes People's Republic of China.
1980: WHO declares smallpox eradicated.
1984: U.S. withdraws from UNESCO
1987: Montreal Protocol signed

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International Labor Organization wins Nobel Prize. Created under the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 to promote labor rights, the ILO won the prize on its 50th anniversary.

Learn more: UN ILO
International Labor Organization
People's Republic of China's UN representatives General Assembly votes to recognize the communist regime of the People's Republic of China. For 21 years, the U.S. had managed to keep Communist China out of the UN, recognizing Chiang Kai-Shek's exiled government in Taiwan.

Learn more: PBS Nixon's China Game
Learn the circumstances behind the General Assembly's vote.
Kurt Waldheim Kurt Waldheim of Austria begins term as Secretary-General. In the 1980s and after his tenure as head of the UN, allegations began to appear that Waldheim had hidden Nazi affiliations in the past. Despite the revelations, he was elected President of Austria, but was shunned in the international community.

Learn more: UN Kurt Waldheim
The official UN biography

Learn more: NPR Weekly Edition
A 1986 report on Waldheim's ties to the Nazis.
Environmental picture The first UN conference on the environment is held in Sweden, leading to the establishment of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Learn more: UN UNEP
UN Environment Programme
General Assembly adopts the New International Economic Order. The Third World nations, acting with the support of the Soviet Union, manage to pass a powerful resolution -- "to correct inequalities and redress existing injustices [and] make it possible to eliminate the widening gap between the developing and developed countries." The industrialized countries lack the votes to block passage, but a worldwide recession in the 1970s takes the wind out of the movement.

General Assembly recognizes the Palestinian Liberation Organization as "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

Learn more: NPR The Middle East
Uncover the roots of the Middle East conflict.

Learn more: PBS Online NewsHour
Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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