Posts Tagged ‘Trygve H. Lie’

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)
‘He died as he had lived-gallantly, unselfishly in the service of the highest ideals of humanity’ the tribute he paid to Trygve Lie, his compatriot on 17th Sept,1948 could be applied to himself. Dag was killed thirteen years later on that same day in a plane crash near Nbola in Zambia and he died in harness- he was en route to negotiate a ceasefire in Katanga.
Brought in as a quiet administrator Dag gave the post of Secretary-general (1953-1961)the stamp of moral magistracy it needed with the Cold War very much crackling all along the globe where the USA and Soviet Russia were trying to make the organization toe their ideological standpoints.This moral ascendancy made him father figure among the new emerging nations of Africa and Asia. His belief in equality of man regardless of color and creed was patent, a belief inherited from scholars and clergymen on his mother’s side.Hs mother had a radically democratic view of fellow human beings and his autobiography reflects his profound view of mankind.’The road inwards can become a road outwards.’
Dag was born in Sweden on 29th July1905, of a distinguished and stern father who was the Prime Minister during the WWI. The moral stamp that he bore from his parents was colored by his love for his country and character given to introspection. His resilience and diplomatic skills were sorely tested during the negotiations with Choe-en-Lai over the release of US. Airmen. On one occasion he observed, ‘If I observe myself in circuitous terms it is nothing compared to Chou.’The one typical of the inscrutability of the Chinese mandarin class and the other descended from the Swedish aristocrats got along well. No conclusion was reached after the initial talks and six months later on his birthday word reached that the Chinese Premier was releasing the US airmen for his sake. It was the beginning of the legend, ‘Leave it to Dag.’ The middle East crisis of 56-57 showed the role of UN where the Organization filled the vacuum while the dispute was discussed across the table. His theory of ‘filling the Vacuum’ has since been adopted with varying degree of success. He coaxed Gamal Nasser into accepting UNEF which kept the peace for 10 years. He declared in reply to a threat that UN was more for the protection of smaller nations that of the Big Powers. His attention was taken up by instability among African countries and he sent a UN force to Congo and subsequently to Katanga after the province had seceded. When he died he was flying to meet Tshombe. Hammarskj√∂ld brought to his role of peace-keeper an unprecedented subtlety of method, a new insight into the problems facing the world where he kept himself above and his approach gave an international morality a tangible shape in the way nations could sit together to sort out their problems.


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