Marrack Goulding

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Marrack Goulding

Marrack Goulding Perquín 1992.jpg
Marrack Goulding in 1992
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
In office
1 January 1986 – July 1997
Personal details
Born(1936-09-02)2 September 1936
Plymouth, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Died9 July 2010(2010-07-09) (aged 73)
Alma materSt Paul's School
Magdalen College, Oxford

Sir Marrack Goulding KCMG (2 September 1936 – 9 July 2010) was a British diplomat who served more than eleven years as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Early life[edit]

Born in Plymouth in Devon, England, to Sir Irvine Goulding, a High Court judge.[1] Goulding attended St Paul's School in London and later studied Literae Humaniores at Magdalen College, Oxford.[2]


HM Diplomatic Service[edit]

Goulding entered HM Diplomatic Service in 1959 and was, in 1961, posted to the British Embassy in Kuwait. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1964, where he worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1968, he was once more posted overseas, as the Head of Chancery of the British Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, and later of the Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.[2]

Goulding spent the following few years in the UK, working first in the Foreign Office as Private Secretary to three Ministers of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – including Roy Hattersley and Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh – and then in the Cabinet Office. He was posted to the British Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1977, and to the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York City in 1979. In 1983, he was appointed Ambassador for the United Kingdom to Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, and served in this capacity until 1985.[2][3]

United Nations[edit]

On 1 January 1986, Goulding became Under-Secretary-General (USG) of the United Nations for Special Political Affairs,[2][4] serving under Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. From then until March 1993, he headed peacekeeping operations for the UN,[5][6] and presided over the creation of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 1992, during the term of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.[7] According to Simon Chesterman of the New York University School of Law, the period of Goulding's service as head of UN peacekeeping – which saw the initiation of sixteen new missions – "may come to be regarded as its heyday".[5]

In March 1993, Goulding became USG for Political Affairs.[5] During his tenure at the UN, which ended in July 1997[2] during the first term of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he was "effectively the second most powerful man in the UN".[8]

St Antony's College, Oxford[edit]

Goulding became Warden of St Antony's College at the University of Oxford on 1 October 1997, having been appointed in November of the previous year. He held this position until his retirement on 30 September 2006.[2]

Post-UN political activities[edit]

Goulding was one of 52 former British diplomats who, in 2004, signed a letter criticising British policy in the Middle East. While the government discounted the criticisms raised in the letter, Goulding suggested that the opinions expressed therein were also held by current employees of the Foreign Office.[9]

He had also, on a separate occasion, called for the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq and the transfer of authority over security operations to a UN-sanctioned multinational force from Arab and Muslim countries.[10]


Goulding was the author of Peacemonger (2003), an account of the inner workings of the United Nations and its activities during his tenure.[11] He has also published articles in various academic journals, including African Affairs[12] and International Affairs.[13]

Goulding was a recipient of the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature, awarded by the Royal United Services Institute for authorship of books that make "a notable and original contribution to the study of international and national security and defence".[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Publications, Europa (2003). Who Was Who?. ISBN 9781857432176. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Warden". St Antony's College. University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 25 September 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  3. ^ Cahill, Kevin M. (ed) (2000). Preventive Diplomacy: Stopping Wars Before They Start. New York City: Routledge. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-415-92285-2. Retrieved 5 November 2007.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Jonah, James O.C. (2004). "The United Nations". In Adekeye Adebajo and Ismail Rashid (ed.). West Africa's Security Challenges: Building Peace in a Troubled Region. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-58826-284-4. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Chesterman, Simon (2004). You, the People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building. Oxford University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-19-928400-9. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  6. ^ "Iraq offers access". BBC. 17 September 2002. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  7. ^ Kanninen, Tapio (1995). Leadership and Reform: The Secretary-General and the UN Financial Crisis of the Late 1980s. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 282. ISBN 978-90-411-0102-0. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  8. ^ Hodge, Carol (2006). Britain and the Balkans: 1991 until the present. Routledge. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-415-29889-6. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  9. ^ Tempest, Matthew (27 April 2004). "Minister rejects attack on foreign policy". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  10. ^ "Tories urge bigger UN role in Iraq". BBC. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  11. ^ Goulding, Marrack (2003). Peacemonger. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7858-9. Marrack Goulding.
  12. ^ Goulding, Marrack (April 1999). "The United Nations and Conflict in Africa since the Cold War". African Affairs. 98 (391): 155–66. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a008005. JSTOR 723624.
  13. ^ Goulding, Marrack (July 1993). "The Evolution of United Nations Peacekeeping". International Affairs. 69 (3): 451–64. doi:10.2307/2622309. JSTOR 2622309.
  14. ^ "RUSI Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature". Royal United Services Institute. Retrieved 5 November 2007.

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by
Brian Urquhart
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
for Special Political Affairs

Office split between
Under-Secretaries-General for Political Affairs and Peacekeeping Operations