Mr. Jan Eliasson was elected President of the sixtieth session
of the United Nations General Assembly on 13 June 2005.
At the time, he was Sweden’s Ambassador to the United
States, a post he held from September 2000 until July 2005.
On 27 March 2006 Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister
veteran in the fields of diplomacy and foreign relations,
from 1994 to 2000 Mr. Eliasson served as State Secretary
for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing
Swedish foreign policy. Earlier, from 1988 to 1992, he was
Sweden’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.
During this period, he also served as the Secretary-General’s
Personal Representative on Iran/Iraq and was Chairman of
the UN General Assembly’s working group on emergency
relief (1991), Vice President of the Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) (1991 to 1992) and Chairman of the UN Trust
Fund for South Africa (1988 to 1992).
1992, Mr. Eliasson was appointed as the first United Nations
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. During
his tenure, he was involved in operations in Somalia, Sudan,
Mozambique and the Balkans and also undertook initiatives
concerning landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian
1980 to 1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation
missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former
Prime Minister Olof Palme. More recently, Mr. Eliasson served
as a mediator in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict for the Organization
for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and was a
visiting professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, lecturing
on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform.
Over the course of his diplomatic career, Mr. Eliasson has
been posted to New York (twice) Paris, Bonn, Washington
(twice) and Harare, where he opened the first Swedish Embassy
in 1980. He served as Diplomatic Adviser to the Swedish
Prime Minister from 1982 to 1983, and as Director General
for Political Affairs in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign
Affairs from 1983 to 1987.
Eliasson has authored and co-authored numerous books and
articles and is a frequent lecturer on foreign policy and
diplomacy. A recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from
the American University, Washington, D.C., Uppsala University
and Göteborg University, Sweden, and Bethany College,
Kansas, he also has been decorated by a number of Governments.
in Göteborg, Sweden, in 1940, Mr. Eliasson was an exchange
student in the United States from 1957 to 1958 and graduated
from the Swedish Naval Academy in 1962. He earned a Master’s
degree in Economics in 1965.
Mr. Eliasson is married to Kerstin Eliasson, who is Sweden’s
State Secretary for Education and Science. They have three
grown children, Anna, Emilie and Johan.