Peter Florin (German Democratic Republic), elected this afternoon as President of the forty-second session of the General Assembly, has served as his country's Deputy Foreign Minister since 1969.
Born in Cologne on 2 October 1921, Mr. Florin was attending a science secondary school in 1933 when his parents emigrated to France and then to the Soviet Union. In Moscow, he studied at the Mendeleyev College of Chemistry and, after the fascist invasion of the Soviet Union, he joined the partisans fighting in Byelorussia.
In 1944, Mr. Florin worked as an editor on the editorial board of a weekly newspaper of the anti-fascist National Committee for a Free Germany, Freies Deutschland. After the Second World War, he served as Vice-President of the Wittenberg district parliament and, until 1948, he worked as Editor-in-Chief of a daily newspaper, Freiheit, in Halle, German Democratic Republic.
From 1949 to 1952, Mr. Florin was a member of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic. In 1953, he was appointed head of the Foreign Affairs and International. Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
Mr. Florin has been a member of the People's Chamber (Parliament) of the German Democratic Republic since 1954. From 1954 to 1971 he was a member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee which he served as Chairman for nine years. In 1954, Mr. Florin was elected a candidate member and, since 1958, he has been a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. He is a member of the Central Board of the Committee of Anti-Fascist Resistance Fighters in the German Democratic Republic.
From 1967 to 1969, Mr. Florin served as Ambassador of the German Democratic Republic to Czechoslovakia. In 1969, he was appointed State Secretary and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic.
From 1973 through 1982, Mr. Florin served as Permanent Representative of the German Democratic Republic to the United Nations. He was the representative of the German Democratic Republic in the Security Council from 1984 to 1981 and held the presidency in the council in February 1980 and March 1981. Mr. Florin was a Vice-President of the thirty-first session of the General Assembly. Since 1973, he has participated in all General Assembly sessions with the exception of the thirty-eighth session.
After relinquishing his post as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Florin in his capacity as Deputy Foreign Minister, was in charge of his country's activities in international organizations
Since 1982 he has been Chairman of the National Commission for the United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of the Nations the German Democratic Republic; in that capacity he led the delegation of the German Democratic Republic to a number of General Conferences of UNESCO.
Mr. Florin is married and has three children.