Hans Blix

Hans Blix
Dr. Hans Blix
Blix in Vienna 2002. Photo by Dean Calma, IAEA
1st Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission
In office
1 March 2000 – 30 June 2003
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos
3rd Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency
In office
1981 – 1 December 1997
Preceded by Sigvard Eklund
Succeeded by Mohamed ElBaradei
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
18 October 1978 – 12 October 1979
Preceded by Karin Söder
Succeeded by Ola Ullsten
Personal details
Born 28 June 1928 (1928-06-28) (age 83)
Uppsala, Sweden

About this sound Hans Martin Blix (born 28 June 1928) is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (1978–1979). Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos. In 2002, the commission began searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, ultimately finding none. In February 2010, the Government of the United Arab Emirates announced that Blix will be the head of an advisory board for its nuclear power program.


Early life and career

Blix was born in Uppsala, Sweden. He is the son of professor Gunnar Blix and Hertha Wiberg and grandson of professor Magnus Blix. He comes from a family of Jamtlandic origin. Blix studied at Uppsala University and Columbia University, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall).[1] In 1959, he became a Juris Doctor in International Law at the University of Uppsala, where he was appointed Associate Professor in International Law the next year.[2]

Between 1962 and 1978 Blix was a member of the Swedish delegation at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. He held several other positions in the Swedish administration between 1963 and 1976, and from 1961 to 1981 served on the Swedish delegation to the United Nations. From 1978 to 1979, Blix was the Swedish Foreign Minister.

Blix chaired the Swedish Liberal Party's campaign during the 1980 referendum on nuclear power, campaigning in favor of retention of the Swedish nuclear energy program.

Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1981-1997)

Blix became Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency between 1981 and 1997 after Sigvard Eklund.

Blix personally made repeated inspection visits to the Iraqi nuclear reactor Osiraq before its attempted destruction by the Iranians, in 1980, and its eventual destruction by the Israeli Air Force in 1981 during Operation Opera. Although most agreed that Iraq was years away from being able to build a nuclear weapon, the Iranians and the Israelis felt any raid must occur well before nuclear fuel was loaded to prevent nuclear fallout. The attack was regarded as being in breach of the United Nations Charter (S/RES/487) and international law and was widely condemned. Iraq was alternately praised and admonished by the IAEA for its cooperation and lack thereof. It was only after the first Gulf War that the full extent of Iraq's nuclear programs, which had switched from a plutonium based weapon design to a highly enriched uranium design after the destruction of Osiraq, became known.

Another significant event during his time as head of the IAEA was the Chernobyl disaster on 26 April 1986, a nuclear accident rated at the highest level 7 on the IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale.

Iraq disarmament crisis (2002-2003)

During the Iraq disarmament crisis before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Blix was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in charge of monitoring Iraq. Kofi Annan originally recommended Rolf Ekéus, who worked with UNSCOM in the past, but both Russia and France vetoed his appointment.

Hans Blix personally admonished Saddam for "cat and mouse" games [2] and warned Iraq of "serious consequences" if it attempted to hinder or delay his mission. [3]

In his report to the UN Security Council on 14 February 2003, Blix claimed that "If Iraq had provided the necessary cooperation in 1991, the phase of disarmament -- under resolution 687 -- could have been short and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided." [4]

Blix's statements about the Iraq WMD program came to contradict the claims of the George W. Bush administration, [5] and attracted a great deal of criticism from supporters of the invasion of Iraq. In an interview on BBC TV on 8 February 2004, Dr. Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found. [6]

In an interview with London's Guardian newspaper, Hans Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media". [7]

In 2004, Blix published a book, Disarming Iraq, where he gives his account of the events and inspections before the coalition began its invasion.

Blix said he suspected his home and office were bugged by the United States, while he led teams searching for Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.[3] Although these suspicions were never directly substantiated, evidence of bugging of UN security council representatives around the time the US was seeking approval from the council came to light after a British government translator leaked a document "allegedly from an American National Security Agency" requesting that British intelligence put wiretaps on delegates to the UN security council.[4]

Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission

Since 2003 Blix has been chair of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), an independent body funded by the Swedish government and based in Stockholm. [8]

In December 2006, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission said in a report that Pakistan’s infamous and controversial nuclear proliferator Abdul Qadeer Khan could not have acted alone or “without the awareness of the Pakistani government”.[5]

Humanitarian initiatives

In 2009 joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a movie against all wars and for a global peace.[6][7]

Head of Advisory Board for United Arab Emirates Nuclear Program

Blix will chair a panel of advisors who will oversee the establishment of the UAE’s Dh150 billion atomic energy programme. He will lead the nine-person board, which will meet twice a year. The International Advisory Board (IAB) will oversee progress of the nation’s nuclear energy plan and issue reports on potential improvements to the scheme. The IAB is expected to hold its first meeting later this month[when?] and will include other distinguished nuclear experts, such as Lady Barbara Judge, the chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.


  • Doctorate Honoris causa of the University of Moscow in 1987.
  • Recipient of the Henry de Wolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award (Washington, D.C.), 1988.
  • Honorary membership in the Cambridge Union Society.
  • Gold Medal for distinguished service in the field of nuclear affairs by the Uranium Institute (now World Nuclear Association) in 1997.
  • Doctorate Honoris causa of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2003.
  • "Commander of the Légion d'Honneur" in 2004.
  • Doctorate Honoris causa of the University of Padova in 2004.
  • Sydney Peace Prize 2007.[8]
  • Doctorate Honoris causa of the University of Cambridge in 2007.[9]

Cultural references


See also


External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Karin Söder
Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
1978 – 1979
Succeeded by
Ola Ullsten
Preceded by
Sigvard Eklund
Director General of the IAEA
1981 – 1997
Succeeded by
Mohamed ElBaradei
Preceded by
Executive Chairman of the UNMOVIC
2000 – 2003
Succeeded by
Demetrius Perricos

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hans Blix — in Wien, 2002. Fotograf: Dean Calma, IAEO Hans Martin Blix ( Aussprache …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Blix — en Viena, 2002. Foto de Dean Calma IAEA …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hans Blix — (nacido el 28 de junio de 1928) fue el jefe de los inspectores de la Comisión de Control, Verificación e Inspección (UNMOVIC) desde enero de 2000 hasta junio de 2003. Nació en Uppsala (Suecia). Ministro sueco de Relaciones Exteriores entre 1978 y …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hans Blix — (født 28. juni 1928 i Uppsala, Sverige) var leder af FN s våbeninspektører fra januar 2000 til juni 2003, hvor han blev afløst af Demetrius Perricos. I 2002 påbegyndte våbeninspektørerne at gennemsøge Irak for masseødelæggelsesvåben …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Hans Blix — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Blix. Hans Blix à Vienne en 2002. Photo par Dean Calma, AIEA Hans Blix (28 juin  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Blix — ist der Name eines Adelsgeschlechts aus Jämtland, siehe Blix (Adelsgeschlecht) Blix ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Peter Andreas Blix (1831–1901), norwegischer Architekt Elias Blix (1836–1902), norwegischer Professor Magnus Blix… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Corell — (born July 7, 1939) is a Swedish lawyer and diplomat. Between March 1994 and March 2004 he was Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations. In this capacity, he was head of the Office of Legal Affairs in… …   Wikipedia

  • Blix, Hans — ▪ 2004       As the likelihood of war between the United States and Iraq grew in early 2003, the eyes of the world turned toward a soft spoken Swedish lawyer named Hans Blix, the executive chairman (since 2000) of the United Nations Monitoring,… …   Universalium

  • Blix — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Blix est un patronyme scandinave. Brynjulf Blix, pianiste de jazz suédois, voir l article anglophone en:Brynjulf Blix. Elias Blix (1836 1902), poète et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hans (name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Hans imagesize= caption= pronunciation= Hahns gender = Male meaning = God is gracious region = German, Dutch, Scandinavian origin = Pet Form of Johannes related names = Jack, Ian, Jan, Jannes, Jean, Jo, Joan… …   Wikipedia

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