Lie, Trygve Halvdan

Image: UN Photo/Al Fox 25 April 1946 Photo # 224229

Author/s (editor/s):

James P. Muldoon, Ellen Jenny Ravndal

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:

James P. Muldoon, Jr and Ellen Jenny Ravndal, ‘Lie, Trygve Halvdan’, in Bob Reinalda, Kent J. Kille and Jaci Eisenberg, IO Bio, Biographical Dictionary of Secretaries-General of International Organizations, Nijmegen: Radboud Universiteit, 22 October 2017,

Trygve Halvdan Lie, Norwegian politician and first Secretary-General of the United Nations 1946-1953, was born 16 July 1896 in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway and died 30 December 1968 in Geilo, Norway. His contribution to the United Nations and international relations in the immediate postwar years has been largely overlooked. In his design of the Secretariat, Lie focused his attention on establishing a foothold for the UN and its Secretary-General in international politics and achieved a meaningful, albeit limited, role for both in addressing the critical issues of the time. Although the member states rarely adopted or implemented Lie’s initiatives in political matters, he succeeded in carving out a space for an active and expansionist Secretary-General and established a number of precedents for his successors to build on.

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