Marrack Goulding, a British diplomat who served as the first head of U.N. peacekeeping operations has died at age 73.

Goulding died on July 9, according to a death notice published by his family in The Times and The Daily Telegraph newspapers. The cause of death was not announced.

Goulding was appointed undersecretary—general for special political affairs, in charge of peacekeeping operations, in 1986. He was closely involved in setting up the U.N. Department for Peacekeeping Operations in 1992.

“His sure—footed diplomatic judgment and firm leadership were indispensable assets as he distinguished himself on delicate assignments ranging from Namibia’s post—independence settlement to the Iran—Iraq conflict, while also involved in the U.N.’s work in Cambodia, Central America, Lebanon and former Yugoslavia,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York.

From 1993 to 1996, Goulding was undersecretary—general for political affairs, then returned to Britain to serve for a decade as warden of St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

Goulding also served as Britain’s ambassador to Angola from 1983 to 1985.

He published his memoirs in 2002, titled “Peacemonger.”

A private funeral service was being held July 20 in Silton in southwestern England.

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