Diego Arria's connection with the United Nations started in 1991 when he became the Permanent Representative of Venezuela. He remained in that post until 1994, serving as Security Council President on March 1992. In 2003, Mr. Arria was named Special Advisor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Due to Venezuela's role in the Secretary-General's "Group of Friends" and because he served as Venezuela's Permanent Representative, Mr. Arria was involved in the peace negotiations in El Salvador and Haiti.
In this interview conducted after his term as Permanent Representative on 5 September 1997, Mr. Arria recalled the negotiations to bring peace to a civil-war torn El Salvador in 1991 and to relieve political unrest in Haiti in the mid-1990s. He also shed light on the role the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General played in moving the talks along. Finally, he touched upon how the Group of Friends was also valuable in helping to bring peace to Guatemala.