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"His life and his death, his words and his actions, have done more to shape public expectations of the office, and indeed of the Organization, than those of any other man or woman in its history. His wisdom and his modesty, his unimpeachable integrity and single-minded devotion to duty, have set a standard for all servants of the international community – and especially, of course, for his successors – which is simply impossible to live up to.  There can be no better rule of thumb for a Secretary-General, as he approaches each new challenge or crisis, than to ask himself, 'how would Hammarskjöld have handled this?'... What is clear is that his core ideas remain highly relevant in this new international context. The challenge for us is to see how they can be adapted to take account of it."

Kofi Annan, "Dag Hammarskjöld and the 21st Century", Uppsala, 6 September 2001
[Full Text]

 
The loss of Dag Hammarskjöld was mourned the world over. At the United Nations, tributes were paid to his memory (A/PV.1007  [Chinese| French|Russian|Spanish] and A/PV.1010  [Chinese|French|Russian |Spanish]). Most famous among these tributes may be the speech President Kennedy delivered on 25 September, 1961. Video extract  Audio extract 


A photo of the late Secretary-General looks out over a crowd gathered
in Stockholm. Literary friend Karl Ragnar Gierow speaks from the rostrum.
(UN/DPI Photo 72494)


Within a month or so after his death, a number of cities, including West Berlin, decided to change the names of streets and squares and call them Dag Hammarskjöld. 

At the United Nations, on 16 October, 1961, the General Assembly adopted resolution 1625 (XVI), entitled, “Memorial to the late Dag Hammarskjöld”
“The General Assembly,

Mourning the passing of Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 

Desiring to establish an appropriate memorial commemorating his service to the United Nations, 

Noting with appreciation the hope expressed by the Ford Foundation, as donor, that the new United Nations Library might be considered in some measure an appropriate remembrance of Mr. Hammarskjöld’s life,

Decides to dedicate the new library of 16 November 1961 as “The Dag Hammarskjöld Library”

 
On 16 November 1961, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library (DHL) was established.
In November 1961, the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting [Parliament] decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for Peace for 1961 posthumously to Dag Hammarskjöld 

"in gratitude for all he did, for what he achieved, for what he fought for: to create peace and goodwill among nations and men."

 
The diploma and medal were given to Ambassador Rolf Edberg, representing the Hammarskjöld family.
Shortly after Dag Hammarskjöld's death, the United Nations Correspondents Association set up the Dag Hammarskjöld Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honour .
"We, the journalists at the United Nations, who saw Dag Hammarskjöld at his task, and who mourn his death have sought a fitting means by which we may perpetuate his memory. To this end, we have established a Memorial Scholarship Fund. It will promote in our profession a wider knowledge of the United Nations; and it will knit closer ties with the countries whose independence and advancement were the object of his unceasing labours during the last years of his life. The Memorial Fund is establishing annual Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarships for young journalists or students of journalism, and the first, from Africa, will take up his scholarship this year."

(Notice posted on the UN Correspondents Bulletin Board, 1961, cited in Dag Hammarskjöld: A Biography, Emery Kelen, 1969)

 
Since the establishment of the Memorial Scholarship Fund, many journalists from Africa, Asia and Latin America have been brought to New York under its auspices to observe and report on the United Nations, and also to improve their professional skills. 


1980 Dag Hammarskjöld Fellows of the Memorial Scholarship Fund 
meet New York Mayor Ed Koch, 9 September 1980
(UN/DPI Photo 144510) 

The Staff of the United Nations established a Committee and a Foundation to provide a "living memorial" to the late Secretary-General. The headquarters of the Foundation were established in Stockholm.

The Committee invited artist Marc Chagall to contribute a piece of his work to the memory of Dag Hammarskjöld and to all those who had lost their lives in the cause of peace. It was decided that the monument would be a free-standing piece of stained glass. On his first visit to the United Nations Headquarters, on 15 May 1963, Marc Chagall dedicated the memorial with these words:
 

"A tous ceux qui ont servi les buts et principes de la Charte des Nations Unies et pour lesquels Dag Hammarskjöld a donné sa vie" ["To all who served the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations Charter, for which Dag Hammarskjöld gave his life".]
 
The panel was unveiled by Secretary-General U Thant on 17 September, 1964. Initially placed in the south-eastern section of the lobby of the Secretariat Building, facing the East River, the "Chagall Window" was later moved to the Eastern side of the Public Lobby. (More on the Chagall Window


Marc Chagall discusses his art work with Secretary-General U Thant. 
Staff Memorial Committee Paulette Stahl looks on, 11 September 1964. 
(UN/DPI Photo 86290)

In Sweden, theDag Hammarskjöldbiblioteket (Dag Hammarskjöld Library) was founded by an initiative of the municipality of Uppsala. The purpose was to provide a lasting memorial to Dag Hammarskjöld and Uppsala was an appropriate setting for such a library, since Dag Hammarskjöld spent his early years there.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation was established in 1962. Its purpose is to organise seminars, conferences, workshops and consultations on development issues and to publish and disseminate the results.
Many Member States decided to honour the late Secretary-General with the issuance of postal stamps


23 October 1962, the United States issues a stamp honouring the late Secretary-General.  Pictured are (left to right): Mr. J. Blaustein, Treasurer of the US Committee and member of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation's Board of Directors; Mr. H. Sanborn, designer of the stamp; Mr. Cordier, President of the US Committee, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation; Hon. J. E. Day, US Postmaster General, 
(UN/DPI Photo 77322)

On 22 July 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping, the Security Council held a meeting to honour the over 750 000 men and women who served in United Nations peacekeeping operations. More than 1500 of them lost their lives. At the meeting, by resolution 1121 (1997), the Security Council established the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations
"as a tribute to the sacrifice of those who have lost their life as a result of service in peacekeeping operations under the operational control and authority of the United Nations".
 
On 6 October 1998, the first Medal was presented to the family of Dag Hammarskjöld. The second medal honoured Commandant René de Labarrière, Military Observer in United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, who was the first peacekeeper to lose his life in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, in 1948. The third Medal was received by the family of Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations Mediator in Palestine, who was assassinated on 17 September 1948 in Jerusalem. 


Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) presented the first Dag Hammarskjöld Medals to families of recipients at a ceremony in the General Assembly on October 6, 1998. 
(UN/DPI Photo 199307C)

Forty years after Dag Hammarskjöld's death, his legacy is still very much alive. To honour his memory, several commemorative events are organized. 

In July 2001, to mark the 40th anniversary of the death Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations System in Zambia, together with the Government of Zambia, the Swedish Mission in Zambia and the pan-African Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (MEF) launched the Dag Hammarskjöld Living Memorial Initiative to sustain the principles of peace that the former United Nations Secretary-General fought so hard to uphold.
 

On September 6, 2001, Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered a lecture in Uppsala, Sweden, "Dag Hammarskjöld and the 21st Century". His remarks about Dag Hammarskjöld included the following: 

"His life and his death, his words and his actions, have done more to shape public expectations of the Office, and indeed of the Organization, than those of any other man or woman in its history. His wisdom and his modesty, his unimpeachable integrity and single-minded devotion to duty, have set a standard for all servants of the international community – and especially, of course, for his successors – which is simply impossible to live up to.  There can be no better rule of thumb for a Secretary-General, as he approaches each new challenge or crisis, than to ask himself, 'how would Hammarskjöld have handled this?'... What is clear is that his core ideas remain highly relevant in this new international context. The challenge for us is to see how they can be adapted to take account of it.” 

On 18 September, 2001, the United Nations Postal Administration issued three commemorative stamps: 

and the Dag Hammarskjöld Library launched this special commemorative website. 

On 1 March 2002, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library organized a one day symposium entitled, "The 40th Anniversary of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library: Legacy of a Secretary-General". This symposium paid tribute to Dag Hammarskjöld, who devoted himself to peace in the world. It also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, which is a legacy of the late Secretary-General. 



This book compiles selected speeches by former Secretary-General Dag Hammarksjöld that focus on the role of the United Nations, the place of the Secretary-General and the nature of the international civil servant. It is issued in commemoration of 50 years since the tragic death in a plane crash of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in September 1961.

On sale by UN Publications: https://unp.un.org/bookshop/details.aspx?sku=9789211012576