Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Kurt Waldheim

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Kurt Waldheim of Austria served as the fourth secretary-general of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981. After World War II, Waldheim joined the Austrian diplomatic service and worked for the Ministry of Foreign affairs in the 1950s. Waldheim was appointed as Austria’s representative to the UN in 1964 and was later defeated in the 1971 Austrian presidential election. Despite his defeat, Waldheim was elected as secretary-general of the UN the following year, and during his tenure, he oversaw the establishment of a number of international conferences, including the Law of the Sea Convention. Waldheim eventually returned to Austrian politics and emerged victorious in the 1986 Austrian presidential elections. However, allegations concerning Waldheim’s participation in the Nazi Party during World War II began to surface and remained a contentious issue until his death in 2007.

 
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