Joseph Luns


Joseph Luns

Infobox Politician
name = Joseph Luns


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office = Minister without portfolio of Foreign Affairs
term_start = September 2, 1952
term_end = October 13, 1956
predecessor = —
successor = —
constituency =
majority =
office2 = Minister of Foreign Affairs
term_start2 = October 13, 1956
term_end2 = July 6, 1971
predecessor2 = Jan Willem Beyen
successor2 = Norbert Schmelzer
constituency2 =
majority2 =
office3 = 5th Secretary General of the NATO
term_start3 = October 1, 1971
term_end3 = June 25, 1984
predecessor3 = Manlio Brosio
successor3 = Peter Carington
constituency3 =
majority3 =
birth_date = birth date|1911|8|28|mf=y
birth_place = Rotterdam, Netherlands
death_date = death date and age|2002|7|17|1911|8|28|mf=y
death_place = Brussels, Belgium
party = Catholic People's Party (KVP)
relations =
spouse =
civil partner =
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website =
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Joseph Antoine Marie Hubert Luns (August 28, 1911 in RotterdamJuly 17, 2002 in Brussels) was a Dutch politician. He was the 5th Secretary General of the NATO.

He was born into a Roman Catholic family of artist and author Huib Luns. As a student he had been a nominal member of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) from 1933 until 1936. He left the NSB due to his opposition to antisemitism and his personal problems in pursuing his diplomatic career.

During the Second World War Luns worked at the Dutch embassies in Switzerland and Portugal from March, 1940 until early 1943. In this capacity he was a key person in pro-Allied espionage. From 1943 onward he worked for the Dutch government in exile. In 1944 he was honoured with several Allied assignments and promoted to Embassy-secretary of the Netherlands, in which position he remained until 1949 in London. In 1949 he was delegated to lead the Dutch envoy at the United Nations.

Joseph Luns was foreign minister of the Netherlands in the 1950s and 1960s. He refused to surrender western New Guinea to the Indonesian authorities until forced to do so by the Kennedy administration of the United States. He was one of the co-founders and signatories of the EU's Treaty of Rome. He blocked attempts by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer to create a "Political Union" because it would have made the fledgling EU a Franco-German codominion in his eyes. Later he became secretary-general of NATO. As such he came into conflict with the rather left-wing government of his own country, e.g. by insisting that the Netherlands install cruise missiles.

Joseph Luns remained a practicing Catholic throughout his life and in the 1970s supported various traditionalist Catholic groups in the Netherlands like the one of Father Winand Kotte of Utrecht, who in 1972 defied the progressive church hierarchy by continuing the celebration of the ancient Latin Mass.


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