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UN Mourns Loss of Former General Assembly President

UN Mourns Loss of Former General Assembly President Harri Holkeri of Finland

New York, Aug 9 2011 - Top United Nations officials have expressed their condolences to the family of the former Finnish Prime Minister, Harri Holkeri, who also served as President of the 55th session of the General Assembly.

Mr. Holkeri, 74, died on Sunday in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, according to media reports. In addition to presiding over the Assembly session that opened in September 2000, he also served as head of the UN mission in Kosovo, a post he was appointed to in July 2003.

In a statement issued last night by his spokesperson, the President of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, called Mr. Holkeri’s passing a “a great loss” for Finland and the family of nations.

“A skilled mediator and consensus builder and Finland’s Prime Minister from 1987 to 1991, Mr. Holkeri was a remarkable man of peace who served his country and the international community in several political and economic posts over four decades,” said the statement.

“Mr. Holkeri leaves a memorable impact on Finland and world affairs,” it added.

In addition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter of condolence to Mr. Holkeri’s family upon hearing of his death.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


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