UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim
"The United Nations was founded on the belief that the human race is capable, by an effort of will, of improving its lot and fulfilling in a more satisfactory way its promise and its genius."
Kurt Waldheim, 1977
Kurt Waldheim was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations for two five-year terms beginning on 1 January 1972. Mr. Waldheim was born at Sankt Andra-Wordern, near Vienna, Austria, on 21 December 1918. He graduated from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1944 and is also a graduate of the Vienna Consular Academy.
Mr. Waldheim joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1945, served as First Secretary of the Legation in Paris (1948-1951), headed the personnel department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna (1951 to 1955) was appointed Permanent Observer for Austria to the United Nations (1955) and later that year became head of the Austrian Mission. Mr. Waldheim represented Austria in Canada (1956-1960) and was head of the Political Department (1960-1962) in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, subsequently becoming Director-General for Political Affairs until June 1964. Mr. Waldheim was Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations (1964-1968) and was Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria (1968-1970).
As Secretary-General, Mr. Waldheim made it a practice to visit areas of special concern to the United Nations. In 1972 he traveled to South Africa and Namibia in order to assist in finding a satisfactory solution for the problem of Namibia S-0902 . The Secretary-General paid three visits to Cyprus for discussions with government leaders and to inspect the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in the island S-0903. Mr. Waldheim made a number of trips to the Middle East in the continuing search for peace in the area. In 1973 he visited Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Jordan. On these visits he also inspected the United Nations peace-keeping operations in the area - the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I and UNEF II) and United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
The Secretary-General also opened and addressed a number of major international conferences convened under United Nations auspices. These include the third session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Santiago, April 1972), the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, June 1972), the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (Caracas, June 1974), the World Population Conference (Bucharest, August 1974) and the World Food Conference (Rome, November 1974).
His term of office continued until 31 December 1981.
Archival Finding Aids for Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim Fonds – AG-006
Fonds consists of archives of Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, relating to his responsibilities as chief administrative officer of the Secretariat and as chief coordinator of the legislative, political, socio-economic, and military bodies of the United Nations. Fonds is arranged in the following archival series.
|Administrative and management matters||1970-1981||S-0897|
|Peacekeeping - code cables||1972-1981||S-0898|
|Peacekeeping - Middle East||1945-1981||S-0899|
|Peacekeeping - India/Pakistan/Bangladesh||1971-1977||S-0900|
|Peacekeeping - Vietnam and Indo-China||1954-1981||S-0901|
|Peacekeeping - Africa||1963-1981||S-0902|
|Peacekeeping - Cyprus||1971-1981||S-0903|
|Political matters - country files||1963-1981||S-0904|
|Political matters - disarmament||1972-1981||S-0905|
|Political matters - miscellaneous records||1972-1981||S-0906|
|Secretary-General's correspondence with heads-of-state, governments, and representatives/observers to the United Nations||1965-1981||S-0907|
|United Nations General Assembly||1972-1981||S-0908|
|United Nations Security Council and other organs||1971-1981||S-0909|
|United Nations specialized agencies and other bodies||1972-1981||S-0910|
|United Nations subsidiary bodies||1971-1981||S-0911|
|United Nations commissions, committees, and conferences||1971-1981||S-0913|
|United Nations special programmes||1971-1981||S-0971|
|Secretary-General's correspondence with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations||1971-1981||S-0972|
|Press matters and public relations||1971-1981||S-0973|
|Secretary-General's correspondence with outside organizations and individuals||1971-1982||S-0974|
|United Nations Secretariat departments||1968-1981||S-0983|
|Secretary-General's messages and statements||1971-1981||S-0985|
|Secretary-General's personal files||1971-1983||S-0986|
|Secretary-General's correspondence with United Nations associations||1971-1981||S-0988|
|United Nations celebrations, concerts, and other events||1972-1981||S-0989|
|United Nations emergency and relief operations||1972-1981||S-0990|
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