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Bengt Säve-Söderbergh (1940 - )

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Bengt Säve-Söderbergh (1940 - ) Awarded for:
Contributing to the elimination of apartheid and colonialism.

Profile of Bengt Säve-Söderbergh

Bengt Säve-Söderbergh has been actively involved with the liberation movement in southern Africa since 1967. In 1992 he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Parliament of Mozambique for contributions to the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.He was the secretary general of the International Centre of the Swedish Labour Movement from 1978 to 1985. This organisation was later re-named the Olof Palme International Centre, in honour of the assassinated Swedish Prime Minister.

The centre, which was founded in 1978 (and where he was the first secretary general), is an institute for international affairs to deal with issues of international solidarity, research, publications, seminars, etc. The late Olof Palme was chairperson of the board during Säve-Söderbergh’s time as secretary general.He was ambassador at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in charge of reform issues in the United Nations, with particular reference to follow-up and implementation of the Nordic UN project (November 1991 to February 1995).

From September 1993 to February 1995, he was chairperson of the International Electoral Institute Commission doing a feasibility study to create an international body to deal with international co-operation in election and democracy.For many years, he has been actively involved in the Sweden Social Democratic Party and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He was ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with special assignments from August 2002 to November 2007. In this capacity, he initiated the Four Nations Initiative for reform of the UN Secretariat in co-operation with colleagues from Chile, South Africa and Thailand. Its final report was presented in September 2007. He initiated and led a study of think tanks and similar institutes to promote new thinking on foreign policy and security matters. He also served as an adviser to an international institute promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict in Aceh, Indonesia.

He was secretary general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) from March 1995 to April 2002. International IDEA was founded on 27 February 1995 as an intergovernmental organisation by the governments of Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden, By 2007, International IDEA had 26 members. Its mandate is to promote and advance sustainable democracy worldwide.