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Dr. Eelco Nicolaas van Kleffens (1894-1983), Delegate from t ... Image 1

Dr. Eelco Nicolaas van Kleffens (1894-1983), Delegate from the Netherlands to the United Nations

Black, sanguine, and white conté on buff paper
Credit Line
Gift of Robert McLean, 1980
20 x 13 in.

Description & Inscriptions

In 1946, Oakley wrote, "Many are the pages in my sketch books with light notes of the Representative from the Netherlands. For this drawing he graciously gave me a sitting in his office at the Dutch Legation. He is indeed a keen instrument sharpened for this work for the world’s security. Very tall and thin, with long hands which he uses expressively when speaking, he penetrates to the heart of every matter before the Council, and with such sensible and kindly wisdom and humor, often saves some delicate situation which might otherwise have proved dangerous.

I first met him many years ago at The Hague, when I attended the opening of the Academy of International Law in the Palace of Peace."

Dr. Van Kleffens was involved with the UN from its earliest days. In 1945 he served as chairman of the Netherlands’ delegation to the San Francisco Conference, where the UN Charter was drawn up; in January 1946 he served as chairman of his country's delegation for the first part of the General Assembly's first session, held in London; and that fall he served as vice-chairman for the second part of the session, held in Flushing Meadows, New York. In July 1947, after 18 months as the Netherlands’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Van Kleffens was appointed Netherlands Ambassador to the US. He remained in Washington, DC, until 1950, when he requested transfer to Lisbon, where he served as the Netherlands’ Minister to Portugal. At that time he was also made Minister of State, a lifetime post and one of the highest the Netherlands can bestow.


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