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Pedro A. Sanjuan

Sanjuan Pedro A. Pedro A Sanjuan died September 28, 2012 surrounded by his loving family in his home in Somers NY from a cerebrovascular accident. He was born in Havana, Cuba to Pilar Arroyo Sanjuan, a Spanish professor and writer, and Pedro Sanjuan, a classical composer, conductor and founder of the Havana Philarmonic Orchestra, on August 10, 1930. He travelled with his family to their native country, Spain, as a child just at the dawn of the Spanish Civil War. After enduring many years of the war in Spain his family escaped through the Basque mountains and traveled through Europe eventually returning to Cuba in 1939. They immigrated to the United States in 1941 and Mr. Sanjuan became a United States citizen in 1947. Pedro A Sanjuan was best known for his role as the director of the Special Protocol Service Section (SPSS) within the State Department's Office of Protocol. Mr. Sanjuan triggered the creation of the SPSS with a special report to the Kennedy administration about the problems that African diplomats faced in the United States. In his capacity as director of the SPSS with his simple mandate to prevent racial incidents involving African diplomats in the U.S. he spearheaded a campaign against racial discrimination in the U.S. lobbying to use the State Department's concern about the treatment of diplomats to launch a broad campaign against segregation both in Washington, D.C., and nationwide. Perhaps the most documented effort of Mr. Sanjuan during this period was his Route 40 Campaign that fought to desegregate the restaurants along Route 40, the major route of transit between Washington DC and New York. For these efforts he was awarded the Superior Honor Award of the Department of State in 1965. Pedro Sanjuan attended Rutgers University and Wofford College and then obtained a graduate degree from Harvard University in Russian History. A polyglot, he spoke nine languages fluently and was a clever mimic of John F. Kennedy and others. Pedro Sanjuan was a highly intelligent, tenacious, creative, and outspoken man with a passion for righting injustice, which he demonstrated during his political career, as well as through satirical writings and artwork. Pedro Sanjuan served in seven federal governmental agencies over two and a half decades. Pedro Sanjuan was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. After training as an Air Officer Candidate in Pensacola, he served as a naval intelligence officer in CINCNELM from 1957 to 1959 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was during this period that he met Patricia Ann Martin on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean and married her on June 21, 1958 at St Margaret's church in London, England. They later returned to the United States and, after a brief period living in Puerto Rico, settled in Washington DC where they lived for over 20 years before they moved to NY in 1983. After leaving the Navy he served as Deputy Chief of Protocol and as director of several offices. During this period he worked for the Kennedy Administration and spearheaded the Department of State effort to end racial discrimination against African diplomats. During this time he also led the Kennedy and Johnson administrations' efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act promoting the theme that the successful conduct of U.S. foreign policy was impossible while racial segregation continued legally in the United States. During his 3-year campaign, Pedro Sanjuan was extensively covered by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time, Life, Newsweek, Esquire and other major newspapers and national magazines, as well as TV and radio networks. Following the State Department, he worked as Deputy Director for Policy Plans for the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1971 to 1975 and later as Deputy Director of the Law of the Sea Task Force in the Office of International Security Affairs. In that capacity he helped maintain the Defense Department position at the Law of the Sea Treaty negotiations and played a leading role in the adoption of the Biological Warfare Convention, banning the use of biological weapons in modern warfare. He also chaired the inter-agency group that drafted the first U.S. chemical warfare treaty proposal. Additionally, during this period he was the Assistant for Strategic and Economic Analysis and Director of the Defense Energy Task Force during the OPEC crisis, and Defense Department representative to the Inter-Departmental Anti-Terrorism Task Force from 1972 to 1974. In 1974 Pedro Sanjuan formed a task force that removed the U.S. Navy firing range from the inhabited Puerto Rican island of Culebra. Pedro A. Sanjuan served as Director for Public Affairs of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1975 to 1977 and spent the better part of 1977 on the Carter White House staff working on arms control issues at the request of Zbigniew Brzezinski and Hamilton Jordan, and he assisted in the passage of the Panama Canal Treaty legislation through Congress. He then founded the American Enterprise Institute's Hemispheric Center and was its first director. He joined the Institute as a resident fellow in 1978 in charge of nuclear proliferation issues. Pedro Sanjuan was a member of the Reagan election campaign and later, was appointed by President Reagan as the first Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Territorial and International Affairs. In that capacity, he formulated and administered United States policy toward the U.S. flag territories and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. He fought for strong financial support for U.S. territories against the tendency of the Office of Management and Budget to cut all entitlement programs. He also became identified with the urgent need to end the corruption that was common in the administration of U.S. territories. In addition, he was the Interior Department's focal point for analysis pertaining to all Interior Department international activities, which included managing the Azir National Park in Saudi Arabia, dealing with acid rain problems with Canada, clean water issues with Mexico and mining agreements with the Federal Republic of Germany. He supervised the Department's participation in Law of the Sea negotiations, and also organized a plebiscite in Micronesia that led to the creation of three new countries now represented at the United Nations. Pedro A Sanjuan served as co-chairman with Jeane Kirkpatrick of the Latin American Policy Group for the 1980 Republican presidential campaign. He was one of three coordinators of the State Department 1980 Reagan-Bush Transition Team and subsequently directed the Reagan-Bush US-UN Transition Team. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on September 6, 1983 appointed Pedro A Sanjuan as Director of the Political Affairs Division of the United Nations Secretariat after his nomination by then Vice-President Bush. The Political Affairs Division, within the Political and Security Council Affairs Department of the UN, served as the policy planning office for the Secretary General and the Security Council and was a center for the study of the interaction of Soviet and U.S. policies. Sanjuan developed a close relationship with top Soviet and East European political leaders. During his almost ten years as Director for Political Affairs, Sanjuan created a new area of involvement for the UN Secretariat by encouraging the improvement of East-West economic relations as a vehicle for strengthening international peace and security. He organized several U.S.-Soviet conferences with the collaboration of New York University and traveled extensively throughout the former USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania In addition to his impressive political career, he led a second life as a painter, sculptor, and graphic artist with a one-man show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other prominent art galleries and art auctions, including Christie's spanned his entire life. Through his art and books one can see his creativity and imagination. He was the author of The UN Gang.... A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat; War; Capparucha's War; Fables; Clones; Fighting Geezers and many others. Pedro Arroyo Sanjuan is survived by his wife, Patricia Sanjuan; daughters, Victoria Sanjuan, Pilar Margaret Sanjuan and India Sanjuan; and grandchildren, Robert Henry Sternberg, Jessica Pilar Sternberg, Mariah Lynn Cargain, Luca Sanjuan Vaninni, Enzo Arroyo Vannini, and Petra Amelia Kellogg. Quotes: " I do not believe that, in the nation's capital, a diplomatic passport should be required for the enjoyment of the normal rights of citizenship without discrimination." - Pedro Sanjuan "I would like to put this in the clearest terms possible.... when an American citizen humiliates a foreign representative or another American citizen for racial reasons, the results can be just as damaging to his country as the passing of secret information to the enemy." - Pedro Sanjuan "Proding a reluctant state department, Pedro Sanjuan led in using foreign policy arguments to fight domestic segregation." - Romano, R.. Romano, R. (2000). No Diplomatic Immunity: African Diplomats, the State Department, and Civil Rights, 1961-1964. The Journal of American History, 87(2), 546-579 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2568763 .

Published in Washington Times from Oct. 2 to Oct. 31, 2012
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