“The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell."
– Second United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, in a speech in May 1954 (pictured here on the wall in the visitors’ area at UN Headquarters in New York).
An inspriation to many around the world then and today, Dag Hammarskjöld served as Secretary-General from 1953 until he died in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, along with 15 others, in September 1961.
At the age of 47, Dag Hammarskjöld was the youngest to have held the position of Secretary-General and during his time in office he fought for the independence of the UN and guided the Organization through some of the world’s most complex crises.
”“He had been a prodigy since his adulthood — an intellectual with an uncommon gift for public administration and practical statesmanship,” said longtime UN offical Brian Urquart. "When he died in a plane crash in Africa, we grieved for him as for the most intimate of friends because we realized that working with Hammarskjöld was a privilege and an experience that would never come our way again.“
He was awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize.
📷: Roberta Politi / UN Social Media Team