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Paul Henri Spaak

Paul Henri Spaak's Speech

Belgian statesman and Socialist leader. He held various cabinet posts over 30 years (1935-1965) and served almost continually as foreign Minister from 1938 to 1949. A moderate Socialist, Spaak was three times premier (1938-39, 1946, 1947-49). He was again foreign Minister from 1954 to 1957, and he resumed that post from 1961 to 1966, serving also as vice premier (1961-65).

Spaak acquired international stature as first president of the General Assembly of the United Nations (1946), chairman of the Council for European Recovery (1948-49), and secretary-general of NATO (1957-61).

In both national and international posts Spaak strove for the political and economic unification of Western Europe, and he was active in the creation of the organisations that have since become the European Union.

In 1950, he was elected president of the OEEC and the Council of Europe, and two years later, he chaired the Assembly of ECSC. He presided over the Conference of Messina, where the foreign Ministers of "the Six" made the definitive step who led to the Treaty of Rome.

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