diplomat, Prime Minister of Finland
Harri Hermanni Holkeri was born in the
small rural city of Toijala, on January 6, 1937, the son
of a police officer. He received his Masters Degree in
Political Science from the University of Helsinki in
1962. His political career began when he joined the Youth
Movement of the Conservative Party at the age of 22, and
it has continued in one way or another ever since. He is
married to Marja-Liisa, with whom he has one son and one
Chronology of His Political
Secretary of the Youth Movement of the
Secretary of the Conservative Party, 1965-1971.
Member of the Helsinki City Council, 1969-1988 (including
a stint as Chairman, 1981-1987).
Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1971-1978.
Member of Parliament, 1971-1978.
Unsuccessful Candidate for President, 1982 and 1988.
Prime Minister, 1987-2001
Elections held in 1987 resulted in neither of
Finland's major parties winning a majority in Parliament.
Under the constitution in effect at that time, the
President of the Republic played a key role in choosing
who should form the government. President Mauno Koivisto,
elected from among the Social Democrats, gave that task
to Holkeri, who then assembled Finland's first
conservative government since World War II.
Despite having to preside over a government consisting of
two diametrically opposed parties, Holkeri was able to
guide Finland through what could have been a very
tumultuous time, and Finland quickly found its place as a
member of the European Union.
Chronology of His Diplomatic
Member of the Finnish Delegation to the
United Nations General Assembly, 1963-1965.
Vice-President of the European Free Trade Association
Member of the Nordic Council, 1975-1978.
President of the European Free Trade Association
Member of the International Body on
Decommissioning in Northern Ireland, 1995-1996.
One of the three Independent Chairmen in The All Party
Talks in Northern Ireland, 1996-1998.
President of the 55th General Assembly of the
United Nations, 2000-2001
The General Assembly of 2000 was exceptional for
the reason that it produced the UN's Millennium
Declaration, the principal aim of which was to set the
clearest possible targets for the world organisation to
achieve, such as halving poverty. Holkeri's clear-cut and
balanced leadership was valuable in this demanding work.
United Nations Special Representative for
President of The Finnish National Commission for
Member of the Board of International Institute for
Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 2003-.
Chronology of His Business
Member of the Supervisory Board of
Ilmarinen Pensions Insurance Company, 1971-2003.
Member of the Board of the Mortgage Bank of Finland,
Member of the Supervisory Board of Enso-Gutzeit
Member of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Finland,
Member of the Supervisory Board of Kemi Corporation,
Member of the Board of Tervakoski Company, 1979-1986.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of VALMET Corporation,
Chairman of the Board of Helsinki Telephone Company Ltd.,
Member of the Auditing Board of United Papermills
Member of the Supervisory Board of Veitsiluoto
Member of the Supervisory Board of SALAMA Insurance
Chairman of the Auditing Board of Repola Corporation,
Member of the Board of the Bank of Finland,
Chairman of the Board of Sponda Corporation, 1991-1996.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finnair, 1994-1997.
Chairman of the Levi Northstar Company, 1996-.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Finnish Fair
Chairman of the Board of Finnair, 1997-2002.
Member of the Supervisory Board of Fortum Corporation,
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