Jan Eliasson has been sworn in for his new post as UN deputy secretary-general at the UN in New York and will with that become the Swede with the highest international position in politics.
“I feel honored and touched… but I am also happy!” Eliasson said to his new boss and co-worker, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Eliasson "has had substantial experience at the United Nations serving in a number of different capacities," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing. And Ban Ki-moon praised Eliasson for his “instrumental” leadership as president of the 60th Session of the general assembly. During his time as the general assembly president, Eliasson was responsible for passing reforms that included the establishment of the Human Rights Council. The role of deputy secretary-general was established in 1997 by the General Assembly as part of the UN reform to help manage the operations of the UN Secretariat.
Eliasson was born in a working-class family in Göteborg in 1940, is a member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from April 24 to October 6 in 2006. He has authored and co-authored numerous books and articles and is a frequent lecturer on foreign policy and diplomacy. Since 1988 he has been a visiting lecturer on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform at Uppsala University.