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Jiří Dienstbier


10.12.198927.6.1992 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs for OF movement

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic in the years 1989-1992.

Born April 20, 1937. Married, 4 children.

Graduated from Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University in Prague, MA. Doctor honoris causa University of Burgundy, France 1993. Visiting Professor, Claremont Graduate University, California 1997–1998; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 1999; Charles University, Prague 2001.

1958–69 Radio Prague commentator, correspondent in the Far East, Europe and USA. 1970–1989 after 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia worked as archivist, night watchman and stoker. After the establishment of the Civic Forum in November 1989, became the spokesman of its Coordinating Center till December 10, when appointed Foreign Minister.

Founder and Chairman of the Czech Council on Foreign Relations, member of International Press Institute, Commission on Global Governance. Ambassador-at-large, personal representative of President Havel in Group of 16 heads of states for multilateral cooperation and reform of the United Nations. 1998–2001 Special Rapporteur of the UNCHR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1977 J.Dienstbier was among the first signatories of Charter 77, a human rights movement based on International Covenants on Human Rights, and twice its spokesman (1979, 1985). In 1979 sentenced to three years in prison with other members of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted. Maintained contacts with foreign politicians, academics and journalists and with independent civic organizations both in democratic and communist countries. Was one of the prominent Czech intellectuals centered around the Charter 77 who were preparing democratic political changes.

From 1968 until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 published journals in samizdat, hundreds of articles and essays at home and abroad. His books, among others: Indonesia – from Sukarno to Suharto (1967), Radio against the Tanks (on civil defense against the Soviet occupation – 1988), Dreaming of Europe (samizdat 1986, Prague 1990, in German: Träumen von Europa, Rohwolt 1991), From Dreams to Reality (1999).

Awards: PRO MERITO of the Council of Europe, T. G. Masaryk Medal, Maltese Cross, Korean Diplomatic Order, Berlin Bär Kultur Preis, Medal of the President of Italian Republic, World Press Freedom Hero (IPI Congress, Boston 2000).