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Jan Eliasson: Wikis


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Jan Eliasson

Jan Eliasson at Tällberg Forum in 2009.

In office
24 April 2006 – 6 October 2006
Prime Minister Göran Persson
Preceded by Laila Freivalds
Succeeded by Carl Bildt

In office
13 September 2005 – 11 September 2006
Preceded by Jean Ping
Succeeded by Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa

In office
2000 – 2005
Preceded by Rolf Ekéus
Succeeded by Gunnar Lund

In office
1994 – 1999
Preceded by Lars-Åke Nilsson
Succeeded by Hans Dahlgren

In office
1992 – 1994
Succeeded by Peter Hansen

In office
1988 – 1992
Preceded by Anders Ferm
Succeeded by Peter Oswald

Born 17 September 1940 (1940-09-17) (age 69)
Gothenburg, Sweden
Political party Social Democratic
Alma mater University of Gothenburg

Jan Kenneth Eliasson (born 17 September 1940) is a Swedish diplomat and Social Democratic politician.


Jan Eliasson was born in a working-class family in Gothenburg. He was an AFS exchange student in Indiana, United States, from 1957 to 1958 and was commissioned reserve officer after military training at the Swedish Naval Academy in 1962. In 1965 he earned a master's degree in economics from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. He also holds honorary degrees from American University (1994), University of Gothenburg (2001) and Uppsala University (2005).

Eliasson has authored and co-authored numerous books and articles and is a frequent lecturer on foreign policy and diplomacy. Since 1988 he has been a visiting lecturer on mediation, conflict resolution and U.N. reform at Uppsala University.

Eliasson started his diplomatic career in 1965, when he was employed at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. From 1982 to 1983 he served as Diplomatic Advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, and from 1983 to 1987 as Director General for Political Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

From 1980 to 1986, Eliasson was part of the U.N. mission, mediating in the Iran–Iraq War. From 1988 to 1992 he served as Sweden's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he also served as the Secretary-General's Personal Representative on Iran/Iraq.

In 1991, Eliasson was chairman of the U.N. General Assembly's working group on emergency relief and Vice President of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from 1991 to 1992. In 1992 he was appointed as the first U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. He was involved in operations in Somalia, Sudan, Mozambique and the Balkans. He also took initiatives on issues such as land mines, prevention and humanitarian action.

Jan Eliasson (right) meeting with George W. Bush in 2005.

From 1994 to 1999, Eliasson served as Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. From 2000 to 2005 he served as Sweden's Ambassador to Washington, D.C., United States. On 13 June 2005 he was unanimously elected President of the United Nations General Assembly, for its sixtieth session. He served as President from 13 September 2005 to 11 September 2006.

From 24 April 2006 to 6 October 2006 he also served as Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Social Democratic cabinet of Göran Persson. Following the Swedish general election, 2006 when his party lost the election, he announced that he will teach at Uppsala University.

In December 2006, then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Eliasson as Special Envoy to Darfur, Sudan. He left this mission in June 2008.

Personal life

Eliasson is married to Kerstin Eliasson, former Swedish State Secretary for Education and Science. They have three children: Anna, Emilie and Johan.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anders Ferm
Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Peter Oswald
Preceded by
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
Succeeded by
Peter Hansen
Preceded by
Lars-Åke Nilsson
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Hans Dahlgren
Preceded by
Rolf Ekéus
Ambassador of Sweden to the United States
Succeeded by
Gunnar Lund
Preceded by
Jean Ping
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa
Government offices
Preceded by
Laila Freivalds
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Carl Bildt


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