Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, brings to his post 37 years of service both in government and on the global stage.
At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His long tenure with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Chief National Security Advisor to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs. Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world.
Mr. Ban has longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the ROK’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Director of the UN Division at the ministry’s headquarters in Seoul, and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time, in 1999, he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. In 2001-2002, as Chef-de-Cabinet during the ROK’s Presidency of the General Assembly, he facilitated the prompt adoption of the first resolution of the session, condemning the terrorist attacks of 11 September, and undertook a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Assembly’s functioning, thereby helping to turn a session that started out in crisis and confusion into one in which a number of important reforms were adopted.
Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, he played a leading role in bringing about another landmark agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula with the adoption at the Six Party Talks of the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
Mr. Ban received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In1985, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Prizes and awards
Mr. Ban has received numerous national and international prizes, medals and honours. In 1975, 1986 and again in 2006, he was awarded the ROK’s Highest Order of Service Merit for service to his country.
Mr. Ban was born on 13 June 1944. He and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son and two daughters. In addition to Korean, Mr. Ban speaks English and French.
KOFI A. ANNAN of Ghana , the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, served from 1997 to 2006 and was the first to emerge from the ranks of United Nations staff.
One of Mr. Annan’s main priorities as Secretary-General w as a comprehensive programme of reform aimed at revitalizing the United Nations and making the international system more effective. He was a constant advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa , and sought to bring the Organization closer to the global public by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners.
At Mr. Annan’s initiative, UN peacekeeping was strengthened in ways that enabled the United Nations to cope with a rapid rise in the number of operations and personnel. It was also at Mr. Annan’s urging that, in 2005, Member States established two new intergovernmental bodies: the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council. Mr. Annan likewise played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by Member States of the “responsibility to protect” people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. His “Global Compact” initiative, launched in 1999, has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility.
Mr. Annan undertook wide-ranging diplomatic initiatives. In 1998, he helped to ease the transition to civilian rule in Nigeria . Also that year, he visited Iraq in an effort to resolve an impasse between that country and the Security Council over compliance with resolutions involving weapons inspections and other matters — an effort that helped to avoid an outbreak of hostilities, which was imminent at that time. In 1999, he was deeply involved in the process by which Timor-Leste gained independence from Indonesia . He was responsible for certifying Israel ‘s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and in 2006, his efforts contributed to securing a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah. Also in 2006, he mediated a settlement of the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula through implementation of the judgement of the International Court of Justice. His efforts to strengthen the Organization’s management, coherence and accountability involved major investments in training and technology, the introduction of a new whistleblower policy and financial disclosure requirements, and steps aimed at improving coordination at the country level.
Mr. Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva . He later served with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa , the UN Emergency Force (UNEF II) in Ismailia , the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva , and in various senior posts in New York dealing with human resources, budget, finance and staff security. Immediately before becoming Secretary-General, he was Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping . Mr. Annan also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the former Yugoslavia (1995-1996), and facilitated the repatriation from Iraq of more than 900 international staff and other non-Iraqi nationals (1990).
Mr. Annan studied at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi , Ghana , and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul , Minnesota in 1961. In 1961-1962, he undertook graduate studies at the Institute of International Affairs in Geneva , and in 1972 earned a Master of Science degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
Prizes and awards
Mr. Annan was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace, jointly with the Organization. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and many other national and international prizes, medals and honours.
Mr. Annan was born in Kumasi , Ghana , on 8 April 1938, and is fluent in English, French and several African languages. He and his wife, Nane, between them have three children.
Mr. BOUTROS BOUTROS-GHALI became the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 1992, when he began a five-year term. At the time of his appointment by the General Assembly on 3 December 1991, Mr. Boutros-Ghali had been Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt since May 1991 and had served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1977 until 1991.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali has had a long association with international affairs as a diplomat, jurist, scholar and widely published author.
He became a member of the Egyptian Parliament in 1987 and was part of the secretariat of the National Democratic Party from 1980. Until assuming the office of Secretary-General of the United Nations, he was also Vice- President of the Socialist International.
He was a member of the International Law Commission from 1979 until 1991, and is a former member of the International Commission of Jurists. He has many professional and academic associations related to his background in law, international affairs and political science, among them, his membership in the Institute of International Law, the International Institute of Human Rights, the African Society of Political Studies and the Académie des sciences morales et politique (Académie française, Paris).
Over four decades, Mr. Boutros-Ghali participated in numerous meetings dealing with international law, human rights, economic and social development, decolonization, the Middle East question, international humanitarian law, the rights of ethnic and other minorities, non-alignment, development in the Mediterranean region and Afro-Arab cooperation.
In September 1978, Mr. Boutros-Ghali attended the Camp David Summit Conference and had a role in negotiating the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, which were signed in 1979. He led many delegations of his country to meetings of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, as well as to the Summit Conference of the French and African Heads of State. He also headed Egypt’s delegation to the General Assembly sessions in 1979, 1982 and 1990.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali received a Ph.D. in international law from Paris University in 1949. His thesis was on the study of regional organizations. Mr. Boutros-Ghali also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, received from Cairo University in 1946, as well as separate diplomas in political science, economics and public law from Paris University.
Between 1949 and 1977, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was Professor of International Law and International Relations at Cairo University. From 1974 to 1977, he was a member of the Central Committee and Political Bureau of the Arab Socialist Union.
Among his other professional and academic activities, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Columbia University (1954-1955); Director of the Centre of Research of The Hague Academy of International Law (1963-1964); and Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, Paris University (1967-1968). He has lectured on international law and international relations at universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali was President of the Egyptian Society of International Law from 1965; President of the Centre of Political and Strategic Studies (Al-Ahram) from 1975; member of the Curatorium Administrative Council of The Hague Academy of International Law from 1978; member of the Scientific Committee of the Académie mondiale pour la paix (Menton, France) from 1978; and associate member of the Institute affari internazionali (Rome) from 1979. He served as a member of the Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organisation from 1971 until 1979. Mr. Boutros-Ghali also founded the publication Alahram Iqtisadi, which he edited from 1960 to 1975, and the quarterly Al-Seyassa Al-Dawlia, which he edited until December 1991.
The more than 100 publications and numerous articles that Mr. Boutros-Ghali has written deal with regional and international affairs, law and diplomacy, and political science.
During the course of his career, Mr. Boutros-Ghali has received awards and honours from 24 countries, which, besides Egypt, include Belgium, Italy, Colombia, Guatemala, France, Ecuador, Argentina, Nepal, Luxembourg, Portugal, Niger, Mali, Mexico, Greece, Chile, Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Central African Republic, Sweden and the Republic of Korea. He has also been decorated with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
He was awarded a doctorate of law honoris causa from the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (September 1992); a doctorate honoris causa from l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (January 1993); the Christian A. Herter Memorial Award from the World Affairs Council, Boston (March 1993); a doctorate honoris causa from The Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (April 1993); the “Man of Peace” award, sponsored by the Italian-based Together for Peace Foundation (July 1993); an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Laval, Quebec (August 1993); and the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Star Crystal Award for Excellence from the African-American Institute, New York (November 1993).
In addition, he was given an honorary membership of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Moscow (April 1994); an honorary foreign membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (April 1994); an honourary foreign membership of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, (April 1994); an honorary doctorate from the University Carlos III of Madrid (April 1994); an honorary degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (May 1994); a doctorate in international law honoris causa from the University of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (August 1994); honorary doctorates from the University of Bucharest (October 1994), University of Baku (October 1994), University of Yerevan (November 1994), University of Haifa (February 1995), University of Vienna (February 1995), and University of Melbourne (April 1995); and a doctorate of law honoris causa from Carleton University, Canada (November 1995). He was made a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale University (March 1995) and is the recipient of the Onassis Award for International Understanding and Social Achievement (July 1995). He was awarded an honorary doctorate of law by the University Montesquien of Bordeau, France (March 1996), and he received an honorary doctorate from Koryo University, Seoul, Republic of Korea (April 1996).
Mr. Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo on 14 November 1922. He is married to Leia Maria Boutros-Ghali.
Javier Perez de Cuellar assumed office as Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 1982. On 10 October 1986, he was appointed for a second term of office, which began on 1 January 1987.
Mr. Perez de Cuellar was born in Lima, Peru, on 19 January 1920. He is a lawyer and a career diplomat, now retired.
He joined the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1940 and the diplomatic service in 1944, serving subsequently as Secretary at the Peruvian embassies in France, the United Kingdom, Bolivia and Brazil, and as Counsellor and Minister Counsellor at the embassy in Brazil.
Having returned to Lima in 1961, he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador the following year, successively occupying the posts of Director of the Legal Department, Director of Administration, Director of Protocol and Director of Political Affairs. In 1966, he was appointed Secretary-General (Deputy Minister) for Foreign Affairs. In 1981, he served as Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Perez de Cuellar was Ambassador of Peru to Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Poland and Venezuela.
He was a member of the Peruvian delegation to the General Assembly at its first session in 1946 and a member of the delegations to the twenty-fifth to thirtieth sessions of the Assembly. In 1971, he was appointed Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations, and he led his country’s delegation to all sessions of the Assembly from then until 1975.
In 1973 and 1974, he represented his country in the Security Council, serving as President of the Council at the time of the events in Cyprus in July 1974. On 18 September 1975, he was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, a post he held until December 1977, when he rejoined his Foreign Service.
On 27 February 1979, he was appointed as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. From April 1981, while still holding this post, he acted as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative on the situation relating to Afghanistan. In that capacity, he visited Pakistan and Afghanistan in April and August of that year in order to continue the negotiations initiated by the Secretary-General some months earlier.
In May 1981, he again rejoined his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs but continued to represent the Secretary-General in the context of the situation relating to Afghanistan until his appointment in December of that year as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
He also served as Professor of International Law at Peru’s Academia Diplomatica and Professor of International Relations at Peru’s Academia de Guerra Aerea. He is the author of Manual de Derecho Diplomatico (Manual of Diplomatic Law (1964).
Mr. Perez de Cuellar received doctorate degrees honoris causa from the following universities: the University of Nice; the Jagiellonian University at Cracow; Charles University at Prague; the University of Sofia; the University of San Marcos at Lima; the Free University at Brussels; Carleton University at Ottawa, Canada; the University of Paris (Sorbonne); the University of Visva-Bharati in West Bengal, India; the University of Michigan; the University of Osnabruck in the Federal Republic of Germany; the Coimbra University at Coimbra, Portugal; the Mongolian State University at Ulan Bator; the Humboldt University of Berlin; the Moscow State University; the University of Malta in Valleta; the Leyden University in the Netherlands; La Salle University in Philadelphia; Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts; the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
In the course of his career, Mr. Perez de Cuellar was decorated by some 25 countries.
In October 1987, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for the promotion of Ibero-American co-operation. In January 1989, he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize for International Understanding and Common Security by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund. In February 1989, he was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
Mr. Perez de Cuellar is married and has two children.
Kurt Waldheim was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations for a five-year term beginning on 1 January 1972. The Security Council had recommended the appointment on 21 December 1971 and the General Assembly approved it by acclamation on the following day.
The Secretary-General was born at Sankt Andra-Wordern, near Vienna, Austria, on 21 December 1918. He graduated from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1944. He is also a graduate of the Vienna Consular Academy.
Mr. Waldheim joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1945, and from 1948 to 1951 he served as First Secretary of the Legation in Paris. He was head of the personnel department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna from 1951 to 1955 In 1955 he was appointed Permanent Observer for Austria to the United Nations and later that year became head of the Austrian Mission when Austria was admitted to the Organization.
From 1956 to 1960, Mr. Waldheim represented Austria in Canada, first as Minister Plenipotentiary and later as Ambassador. From 1960 to 1962 he was head of the Political Department (West) in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, subsequently becoming Director-General for Political Affairs until June 1964.
From 1964 to 1968, Mr. Waldheim was Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations. During that period he was Chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space; in 1968 he was elected President of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
From January 1968 to April 1970, Mr. Waldheim was Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria. After leaving the Government, he was unanimously elected Chairman of the Safeguards Committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in October 1970 he again became the Austrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held until he was elected Secretary-General of the Organization.
In April 1971, he was one of the two candidates for the Federal Presidency of Austria.
During his first three years as Secretary-General, Mr. Waldheim made it a practice to visit areas of special concern to the United Nations. In March 1972 he travelled to South Africa and Namibia in pursuance of a mandate given him by the Security Council in order to assist in finding a satisfactory solution for the problem of Namibia.
The Secretary-General paid three visits to Cyprus, in June 1972, August 1973 and August 1974, for discussions with government leaders and to inspect the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in the island. During his visit in August 1974, in the wake of the hostilities, Mr. Waldheim arranged for talks to begin between Acting President Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash.
The Secretary-General also made a number of trips to the Middle East in the continuing search for peace in the area. In August 1973 he visited Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Jordan; in June 1974 he met with the leaders of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and in November 1974 he went to Syria, Israel and Egypt in connection with the extension of the mandate of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). On these visits he also inspected the United Nations peace-keeping operations in the area – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) and UNDOF.
In February 1973, during an official trip to the subcontinent, the Secretary-General discussed with the Governments of India,Pakistan and Bangladesh the problems created by the war between India and Pakistan and ways and means to overcome its consequences. He also inspected the United Nations Relief Operation in Bangladesh, the largest relief operation ever undertaken under United Nations auspices.
In February and March 1974, the Secretary-General visited a number of countries in the Sudano-Sahelian area of Africa where the United Nations had undertaken a major relief operation to assist the victims of a prolonged drought.
The Secretary-General also opened and addressed a number of major international conferences convened under United Nations auspices. These include the third session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Santiago, April 1972), the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, June 1972), the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (Caracas, June 1974), the World Population Conference (Bucharest, August 1974) and the World Food Conference (Rome, November 1974).
The Secretary-General participated in Security Council meetings held away from Headquarters, in Africa (Addis Ababa, January 1972) and in Latin America (Panama, March 1973).
He addressed and attended meetings of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Rabat (June 1972 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the OAU, in Addis Ababa (May 1973) and in Mogadiscio (June 1974). He also addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington (March 1972).
In February 1973, the Secretary-General took part in the Paris International Conference on Viet-Nam; in December of the same year he presided over the first phase of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.
In July 1973, Mr. Waldheim addressed the Conference on European Security and Co-operation in Helsinki.
On the invitation of their respective Governments, the Secretary-General paid official visits to a number of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.
Married and the father of three children, Mr. Waldheim is the author of a work on Austria’s foreign policy, The Austrian Example, which has been published in German,English and French.
Mr. Waldheim died on 14 June 2007 in Vienna, Austria, at the age of 88.
U Thant , who served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1961 to 1971, was chosen to head the world body when Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in an air crash in September 1961.
U Thant was born at Pantanaw, Burma, on 22 January 1909, and was educated at the National High School in Pantanaw and at University College, Rangoon.
Prior to his diplomatic career, U Thant’s experience was in education and information work. He served as Senior Master at the National High School, which he had attended in Pantanaw, and in 1931, he became Headmaster after winning first place in the Anglo-Vernacular Secondary Teachership Examination.
He was a member of Burma’s Textbook Committee and of the Council of National Education before World War II, and was an Executive Committee member of the Heads of Schools Association. He was also active as a free-lance journalist.
In 1942, U Thant served for a few months as Secretary of Burma’s Education Reorganization Committee. In the following year, he returned to the National High School as Headmaster for another four years.
U Thant was appointed Press Director of the Government of Burma in 1947. In 1948, he became Director of Broadcasting, and in the following year, he was appointed Secretary to the Government of Burma in the Ministry of Information. In 1953, U Thant became Secretary for projects in the Office of the Prime Minister, and in 1955, he was assigned additional duties as Executive Secretary of Burma’s Economic and Social Board.
At the time of his appointment as Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant had been Permanent Representative of Burma to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador (1957-1961).
During that period, he headed the Burmese delegations to the sessions of the General Assembly, and in 1959, he served as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly’s fourteenth session. In 1961, U Thant was Chairman of the United Nations Congo Conciliation Commission and Chairman of the Committee on a United Nations Capital Development Fund.
During his diplomatic career, U Thant served on several occasions as Adviser to Prime Ministers of Burma.
U Thant began serving as Acting Secretary-General since 3 November 1961, when he was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, to fill the unexpired term of the late Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold. He was then unanimously appointed Secretary-General by the General Assembly on 30 November 1962 for a term of office ending on 3 November 1966.
U Thant was re-appointed for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly on 2 December 1966 on the unanimous recommendation of the Security Council (resolution 229, 1966). His term of office continued until 31 December 1971.
U Thant received honorary degrees (LL.D) from the following universities: Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (25 May 1962); Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts (10 June 1962); Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (12 June 1962); Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts (2 June 1963); Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (13 June 1963); Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (16 June 1963); University of California at Berkeley, California (2 April 1964); University of Denver, Denver, Colorado (3 April 1964); Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania (8 June 1964); New York University, New York (10 June 1964); Moscow University, Moscow, Soviet Union (30 July 1964); Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (22 May 1965); Colby College, Waterville, Maine (6 June 1965); Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (14 June 1965); University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada (28 May 1966); Hamilton College, Clinton, New York (5 June 1966); Fordham University, Bronx, New York (8 June 1966); Manhattan College, New York (14 June 1966); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (30 March 1967); Delhi University, New Delhi, India (13 April 1967); University of Leeds, England (26 May 1967); Louvain University, Brussels, Belgium (10 April 1968); University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (13 May 1968); Boston Unversity, Boston, Massachusetts (19 May 1968); Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey (29 May 1968); University of Dublin (Trinity College), Dublin, Ireland (12 July 1968); Laval University, Quebec, Canada (31 May 1969); Columbia University, New York City (3 June 1969); the University of the Philippines (11 April 1970); and Syracuse University (6 June 1970). He also received the following honorary degrees: Doctor of Divinity, The First Universal Church (11 May 1970); Doctor of International Law, Florida International University, Miami, Florida (25 January 1971); Doctor of Laws, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut (23 March 1971); Doctor of Civil Laws degree, honoris causa, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, (30 May 1971); Doctor of Humane Letters, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (7 June 1971).
U Thant retired at the end of his second term in 1971 and he died on 25 November 1974 after a long illness. He was 65 years old.
** Formerly known as Burma.
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 10 April 1953 until 18 September 1961 when he met his death in a plane accident while on a peace mission in the Congo. He was born on 29 July 1905 in Jonkoping in south-central Sweden. The fourth son of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, Prime Minister of Sweden during the years of World War I, and his wife Agnes, M.C. (b. Almquist), he was brought up in the university town of Uppsala where his father resided as Governor of the county of Uppland.
At 18, he was graduated from college and enrolled in Uppsala University. Majoring in French history of literature, social philosophy and political economy, Mr. Hammarskjöld received, with honors, his Bachelor of Arts degree two years later. The next three years he studied economics, at the same university, where he received a “filosofic licenciat” degree in economics at the age of 23. He continued his studies for two more years to become a Bachelor of Laws in 1930.
Mr. Hammarskjöld then moved to Stockholm, where he became a secretary of a governmental committee on unemployment (1930-1934). At the same time he wrote his doctor’s thesis in economics, entitled, “Konjunkturspridningen” (The Spread of the Business Cycle). In 1933 he received his doctor’s degree from the University of Stockholm, where he was made assistant professor in political economy.
At the age of 31 and after having served one year as secretary in the National Bank of Sweden, Mr. Hammarskjöld was appointed to the post of Permanent Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance. He concurrently served as Chairman of the National Bank’s Board, from 1941 to 1948. Six of the Board’s members are appointed by Parliament and the Chairman by the Government. This was the first time that one man had held both posts, the Chairmanship of the Bank’s Board and that of Under-Secretary of the Finance Ministry.
Early in 1945, he was appointed an adviser to the Cabinet on financial and economic problems, organizing and coordinating, among other things, different governmental planning for the various economic problems that arose as a result of the war and the postwar period. During these years, Mr. Hammarskjöld played an important part in shaping Sweden’s financial policy. He led a series of trade and financial negotiations with other countries, among them the United States and the United Kingdom.
In 1947 he was appointed to the Foreign Office, where he was responsible for all economic questions with rank of Under-Secretary. In 1949, he was appointed Secretary-General of the Foreign Office and in 1951, he joined the Cabinet as Minister without portfolio. He became, in effect, Deputy Foreign Minister, dealing especially with economic problems and various plans for close economic cooperation.
He was a delegate to the Paris Conference in 1947, when the Marshall Plan machinery was established. He was his country’s chief delegate to the 1948 Paris Conference of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). For some years he served as Vice-Chairman of the OEEC Executive Committee. In 1950, he became Chairman of the Swedish Delegation to UNISCAN, established to promote economic cooperation between the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries. He was also a member (1937-1948) of the advisory board of the government-sponsored Economic Research Institute.
He was Vice-Chairman of the Swedish Delegation to the Sixth Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris 1951-1952, and acting Chairman of his country’s delegation to the Seventh General Assembly in New York in 1952-1953.
Although he served with the Social-Democratic cabinet, Mr. Hammarskjöld never Joined any political party, regarding himself as an independent, politically.
On 20 December 1954, he became a member of the Swedish Academy. He was elected to take the seat in the Academy previously held by his father. Elected to two terms as Secretary-General Mr. Hammarskjöld was unanimously appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly on 7 April 1953 on the recommendation of the Security Council. He was reelected unanimously for another term of five years in September 1957.
During his terms as Secretary-General, Mr. Hammarskjöld carried out many responsibilities for the United Nations in the course of its efforts to prevent war and serve the other aims of the Charter.
In the Middle East these included: continuing diplomatic activity in support of the Armistice Agreements between Israel and the Arab States and to promote progress toward better and more peaceful conditions in the area; organization in 1956 of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) and its administration since then; clearance of the Suez Canal in 1957 and assistance in the peaceful solution of the Suez Canal dispute; organization and administration of the United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL) and establishment of an office of the special representative of the Secretary-General in Jordan in 1958.
In 1955, following his visit to Peking, 30 December 1954 – 13 January 1955, 15 detained American fliers who had served under the United Nations Command in Korea were released by the Chinese People’s Republic. Mr. Hammarskjöld also traveled to many countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, either on specific assignments or to further his acquaintance with officials of member governments and the problems of various areas.
On one of these trips, from 18 December 1959 to 31 January 1960, the Secretary-General visited 21 countries and territories in Africa — a trip he described later as “a strictly professional trip for study, for information”, in which he said he had gained a “kind of cross-section of every sort of politically responsible opinion in the Africa of today”.
Later in 1960, when President Joseph Kasa-Vubu and Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of the Congo sent a cable on 12 July asking “urgent dispatch” of United Nations military assistance to the Congo, the Secretary-General addressed the Security Council at a night meeting on 13 July and asked the Council to act “with utmost speed” on the request. Following Security Council actions the United Nations Force in the Congo was established and the Secretary-General himself made four trips to the Congo in connection with the United Nations operations there. The first two trips to the Congo were made in July and August 1960. Then, in January of that year, the Secretary-General stopped in the Congo while en route to the Union of South Africa on another mission in connection with the racial problems of that country. The fourth trip to the Congo began on 12 September and terminated with the fatal plane accident.
In other fields of work, Mr. Hammarskjöld was responsible for the organization in 1955 and 1958 of the first and second UN international conference on the peaceful uses of atomic energy in Geneva, and for planning a UN conference on the application of science and technology for the benefit of the less developed areas of the world held in 1962.
He held honorary degrees from Oxford University, England; in the United States from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Pennsylvania, Amherst, John Hopkins, the University of California, Uppsala College, and Ohio University; and in Canada from Carleton College and from McGill University.
Trygve Halvdan Lie was born on 16 July 1896, in Oslo, Norway, the son of Martin and Hulda Arnesen Lie. He was educated at Oslo University where he obtained a law degree in 1919. On 8 November 1921, he married Hjordis Joergensen. They had three children – Sissel, Guri and Mette.
Mr. Lie became a member of the Norwegian Labor Party Youth Organization in 1911. He was an assistant to the secretary of the Labor Party from 1919 to 1922, a legal adviser to the Norwegian Trade Union Federation from 1922 to 1935, and national executive secretary of the Labor Party in 1926. In the Labor Party Government formed by Johan Nygaardsvold, Mr. Lie was Minister of Justice for the years 1935 to 1939, then Minister of Trade and Industries from July to September 1939 and, at the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, became Minister of Supply and Shipping. In that capacity he evolved the provisional measures that saved the Norwegian fleet for the Allies, after the German invasion in April 1940. In June that year he went to England, when the Norwegian Government decided to continue the fight from abroad.
He became acting Foreign Minister in December 1940 and was appointed Foreign Minister of Norway in February 1941. Mr. Lie was elected a member of the Norwegian Parliament in 1936 and was re-elected in 1945. On 12 June 1945, the Government of which he was a member resigned; Mr. Lie was appointed Foreign Minister of the interim coalition cabinet which took over the government at the time, and Foreign Minister in the new Labor Party Government in October 1945.
Mr. Lie led the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, April 1945, and was Chairman of Commission III for drafting the Security Council provisions of the Charter. He was also Chairman of the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in London in January 1946. On 1 February 1946, Mr. Lie was elected the first Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was formally installed by the General Assembly at its 22nd meeting on 2 February 1946. The General Assembly on 1 November 1950, continued Mr. Lie in office for a further three years from 1 February 1951. He resigned as Secretary-General of the United Nations in November 1952.
Mr. Lie had the following appointments since leaving the United Nations: Governor of Oslo and Akershus, Chairman of Norway’s Board of Energy. By a resolution of the General Assembly in 1958, King Olav of Norway was asked to find a basis on which Ethiopia and Italy could start to settle a border dispute involving the former Italian colony, Somalia. King Olav, in 1959, appointed Mr. Lie as Mediator.
Mr. Lie passed away on 30 December 1968.