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Åke Sellström (born 2 November 1948) is a Swedish academic and expert in arms, especially in chemical weapons. He has been active at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).

Åke Sellström
Åke Sellström-2014-05-07.jpg
Åke Sellström, 2014
Born (1948-11-02) 2 November 1948 (age 70)
ResidenceSikeå, Sweden
Alma materUniversity of Gothenburg


Sellström received his Ph.D. in 1975 at University of Gothenburg.[1]

He was one of the United Nations inspectors who examined the use of chemical weapons in Iraq in the 1990s. He returned to the country in 2002 to examine whether the government had restored the banned weapons program, for which the inspectors found no evidence.[2] He has held various positions with the United Nations, including as Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and as Senior Adviser to the Chairmen of UNSCOM and the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) for the disarmament of Iraq.

In March 2013, Sellström was appointed head of the UN team to investigate the possible use of chemical warfare weapons during the Syrian civil war.[3] His team published a report on the 21 August Ghouta chemical attacks in September 2013.[4]

In Sweden, Sellström has conducted research on biological and chemical weapons at the European CBRNE Center at Umeå University, and before that at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in Umeå. It was through this service that he was recognized internationally, which resulted in the UN missions.[5]


  1. ^ Åke Sellström (1975). Gamma-aminobutyric acid transport in brain (Ph.D. thesis). University of Gothenburg.
  2. ^ Sellström FN:s utsände för att leta kemiska vapen
  3. ^ "Secretary-General appoints head of fact-finding mission on alleged chemical weapons use in Syria". 26 March 2013.
  4. ^ Sellström, Åke; Cairns, Scott; Barbeschi, Maurizio (16 September 2013). "Report of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013" (PDF). United Nations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Svenske Åke Sellström utsedd av FN" by Maja Sigfeldt, Sveriges Television, 26 March 2013 (in Swedish)