Swedish diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization (1953–61). In 1953 he was elected UN Secretary-General as successor to Trygve Lie. He was re-elected in 1957. Under him, the UN established an emergency force to help maintain order in the Middle East after the Suez War, and UN observation forces were sent to Laos and Lebanon. He initiated and directed (1960–61) the UN's involvement in the Congo crisis, making controversial use of Article 99 of the UN Charter, which he believed allowed the Secretary-General to exercise initiative independent of the United Nations Security Council or United Nations General Assembly. While in the Congo he was killed in an aeroplane crash over Zambia.
Subjects: History — Warfare and Defence.