DUniv. 2013, His Excellency

Honorary Doctorate Recipient


On March 2nd, 2012, Jan Eliasson was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He took office on July 1, 2012.

Mr. Eliasson was the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur from 2007-2008. Prior to this, he served as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.S. from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006. Mr. Eliasson served from 1994 to 2000 as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the UN in New York from 1988 to 1992, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.

Mr. Eliasson was the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He was responsible for initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian action. Between 1980 and 1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 1993-94 Mr. Eliasson served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He has been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University in Sweden, lecturing on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform. On September 18, 2011, Mr. Eliasson delivered the 13th annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture, organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Uppsala University; the theme of his address was “Peace, Development and Human Rights: The Indispensable Connection.” Mr. Eliasson has had diplomatic postings in New York (twice) Paris, Bonn, Washington (twice) and Harare, where he opened the first Swedish Embassy in 1980.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson also served as Chair of Water Aid/Sweden and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocacy Group.

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