Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dag Hammarskjöld

U.N. Secretary GeneralWe strife to bring order and purity into chaos and anarchy. Dag Hammarskjöld, the second secretary general of the United Nations, was an influential force for peace during his seven years as head of the United Nations. The son of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, a former prime minister of Sweden, he joined Sweden's foreign ministry in 1947, and in 1951, formally entered the cabinet as deputy foreign minister. The same year, he traveled to the United Nations as vice chairman of the Swedish delegation, and in 1952, was appointed acting chairman. Elected U.N. secretary general on the recommendation of the Security Council on April 7, 1953, he led missions to China, the Middle East, and elsewhere to become better acquainted with the United Nation's member states and to arrange peace settlements. In 1957, he was unanimously re-elected secretary general. During his second term, he initiated and directed the United Nation's vigorous role in the Congolese Civil War, which led to criticism of Hammarskjöld's leadership by the Soviet Union. He was on his fourth mission to the Republic of the Congo when he was killed with fifteen others in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia on September 18, 1961. He was succeeded as secretary general by U Thant of Myanmar. In the same year, Hammarskjöld was posthumously awarded the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize. Here, he is heard discussing Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and how it can be regarded as an symbolic model for international reconciliation. In 1964, French artist Marc Chagall designed a stained glass memorial window to Hammarskjöld in the United Nations Headquarters lobby. Among images of peace in the artwork are musical symbols meant to evoke the Ninth Symphony.


Post a Comment

<< Home