Perez de Cuellar was born in Lima, Peru, on 19 January 1920. He is a lawyer and a career diplomat, now retired. Javier Perez de Cuellar assumed office as Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 1982. In October 1987, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for the promotion of Ibero-American co-operation. Read Javier Perez de Cuellar Biography.