(b. 16 July 1896, d. 30 Dec. 1968).
UN Secretary-General 1946–53 A successful barrister born in Grorud (near Oslo), he joined the Norwegian Labour Party (later the Social Democrats) in 1919. He became its legal adviser and was elected to the Storting (parliament). He was Minister of Justice (1935–9), Minister of Supplies (1939–40), and Foreign Minister (1941–6), serving in the exiled Norwegian government in London, 1941–5. Owing to his internationalist convictions he was elected UN Secretary-General in 1946, and again in 1950. Within weeks of presenting a twenty-year peace plan to the UN, he was faced with one of the organization's biggest challenges after World War II, the North Korean invasion of South Korea. He responded by organizing UN assistance for South Korea, leading to the Korean War. As a result, the USSR refused him its support, so that he resigned in 1953. He returned to Norwegian politics as Minister of Industry (1963–4) and as Minister of Commerce (1964–5).
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).