April 10 in Swedish, Nordic and World History
April 10 1953: Dag Hammarskjold takes the oath as Secretary General of the United Nations. Norwegian Trygve Lie had resigned his post as the first ever Secretary-General of the United Nations in November 1952, and Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld is chosen as his successor (he receives 10 votes out of 11 Security Council members on March 31, 1953). The UN General Assembly elected him in the 7–10 April session by 57 votes out of 60 (Hammarskjold was then acting chairman of Sweden's delegation to this, the Seventh General Assembly in New York in 1952-1953). He took the oath of office as Secretary-General of the United Nations for a term of five years on April 10 1953. In 1957, he was re-elected.

Read also, Leif Rosqvist's Tribute to a Significant Man


As Secretary-General, Mr. Hammarskjöld used his good offices in a range of situations to prevent war and serve the other aims of the Charter... In the Middle East, supporting the Armistice Agreements between Israel and the Arab States, assistance in the peaceful solution of the Suez Canal dispute; in China, resolving issues with detained American fliers who had served under the United Nations Command in Korea; in Africa, overall assisting in the decolonization of the continent.

Hammarskjöld remains on the post until his death in an airplane crash en route to a peacemaking mission at Ndola, in today’s Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1961. He is succeeded by Burmese diplomat U Thant.

Many of you will know that in late December 2014, the UN General Assembly voted ‘by consensus’—remarkably meaning that all 193 member states agreed—to reopen investigation of the air crash that took the lives of Dag Hammarskjöld and the 15 members of his party.

Hammarskjold's airplane crash while en route to negotiate a cease-fire in the former Belgian Congo led to a number of conspiracy theories, and in 2012 an international group of lawyers reopened the investigation of his death. Hammarskjold's death investigated by experts