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Eelco van Kleffens
Eelco van Kleffens in 1945
Permanent Representative of the
Netherlands to the ECSC
In office
1 May 1958 – 10 December 1967
Preceded byUnknown
Succeeded byUnknown
Permanent Representative of the
Netherlands to NATO and the OECD
In office
1 December 1956 – 1 May 1958
Preceded byUnknown
Succeeded byUnknown
President of the United
Nations General Assembly
In office
1 January 1954 – 31 December 1954
Preceded byVijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Succeeded byJosé Maza Fernández
Ambassador of the Netherlands
to Portugal
In office
1 January 1950 – 1 May 1958
Preceded byUnknown
Succeeded byUnknown
Ambassador of the Netherlands
to the United States
In office
1 July 1947 – 1 December 1956
Preceded byUnknown
Succeeded byUnknown
Permanent Representative of the
Netherlands to the United Nations
In office
17 January 1946 – 1 December 1956
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byUnknown
Minister for United Nations Affairs
In office
1 March 1946 – 1 July 1947
Prime MinisterWillem Schermerhorn (1946)
Louis Beel (1946–1947)
Preceded byHerman van Roijen
Succeeded byJoseph Luns (1952)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
10 August 1939 – 1 March 1946
Prime Minister
See list
Preceded byJacob Adriaan Patijn
Succeeded byHerman van Roijen
Personal details
Born
Eelco Nicolaas van Kleffens

(1894-11-17)17 November 1894
Heerenveen, Netherlands
Died17 June 1983(1983-06-17) (aged 88)
Almoçageme, Portugal
NationalityDutch
Political partyIndependent Liberal
Spouse(s)
Margaret Horstman
(m. 1935; his death 1983)
Alma materLeiden University
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
(Bachelor of Economics)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Jurist

Eelco Nicolaas van Kleffens (17 November 1894 – 17 June 1983) was a Dutch politician and diplomat.

Biography

Eelco van Kleffens descended from an old Frisian family of public servants. He was the son of Henricus Cato and Jeannette Frésine (Veenhoven) van Kleffens. His younger brother Adrianus van Kleffens would later become a judge at the European Court of Justice. He married Margaret Helen Horstmann on 4 April 1935.

After receiving a Doctor of Laws degree from Leiden University, van Kleffens worked in the Secretariat of the League of Nations. He became secretary to the Directorate of Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. in 1920. He was appointed Assistant Director of the Legal Section of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1922 and of the Diplomatic Section in 1927, becoming Director of the latter in 1929. In the early 1930s he was also Secretary-General of The Hague Academy of International Law.

Van Kleffens was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1939, weeks before World War II began, and was part of the Dutch government in exile over that period. During the war he penned an account of the German invasion named Juggernaut over Holland which was circulated within the occupied territory, and he was also one of the original signatories of the Benelux union.

Van Kleffens held the position of foreign minister until the Schermerhorn/Drees cabinet of 1946. Following his resignation from the ministerial position (but not from the cabinet) van Kleffens became the Netherlands' representative on the United Nations Security Council, and in 1947 was appointed the ambassador to the United States. In 1950 he became the ambassador to Portugal, and was bestowed the title of Minister of State, a prestigious honour.

In 1954 van Kleffens was appointed to the position of President of the United Nations General Assembly for that body's ninth session.

Van Kleffens was the Dutch representative at NATO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from 1956 to 1958, and at the European Coal and Steel Community from 1958 until 1967, after which Van Kleffens retired to Portugal, where he died on 17 June 1983.

Decorations

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour France 12 February 1948
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 30 April 1949 Elevated from Grand Officer (1 March 1946)
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Portugal 1 October 1954
Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 1 May 1958 Elevated from Knight (15 July 1931)
Honorific Titles
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Minister of State Netherlands 4 July 1950 Style of Excellency

References

Official
Political offices Preceded byJacob Adriaan Patijn Minister of Foreign Affairs 1939–1946 Succeeded byHerman van Roijen Preceded byHerman van Roijen Minister for United Nations Affairs 1946–1947 Succeeded byJoseph Luns (1952) Diplomatic posts Preceded byOffice established Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations 1946–1956 Succeeded byUnknown Preceded byUnknown Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States 1947–1956 Succeeded byUnknown Preceded byUnknown Ambassador of the Netherlands to Portugal 1950–1958 Succeeded byUnknown Preceded byVijaya Lakshmi Pandit President of the United Nations General Assembly 1954 Succeeded byJosé Maza Fernández Preceded byUnknown Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to NATO and the OECD 1956–1958 Succeeded byUnknown Preceded byUnknown Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the ECSC 1958–1967 Succeeded byUnknown