Mr. Claiborne Pell was a participant in the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization held in San Francisco, which led to the establishment of the United Nations and drafting of its Charter. Thereafter, he served for seven years, from 1945 to 1952, as a State Department official and Foreign Service Officer. In 1960 Mr. Pell was elected as United States Senator from Rhode Island for six terms.
Mr. Pell was a delegate to the twenty-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1970. He also served as the following: a Senate advisor to the United States Delegation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea; the first Senate advisor appointed to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks; member of the Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations; Senate representative at the first Environmental Conference in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972; and the only Senator who participated in both the main and the follow-up United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. In 1996, United States President Clinton appointed him as the country's Representative to the fifty-first session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The interview, conducted on 20 February 1990, focused on the experiences of Mr. Pell during the 1945 San Francisco Conference.