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Harri Hermanni Holkeri (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhɑrːi ˈhermɑnːi ˈholkeri]) (6 January 1937 – 7 August 2011)[1] was a Finnish statesman representing the National Coalition Party of Finland (Kokoomus / Samlingspartiet). He was the Prime Minister of Finland 1987–1991,[2] speaker of the UN General Assembly 2000–2001 and headed the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo from 2003- 2004 (leaving the position in the spring of the second year because of health issues).

Harri Holkeri

36th Prime Minister of Finland
In office
30 April 1987 – 26 April 1991
PresidentMauno Koivisto
DeputyKalevi Sorsa (1987–1989)
Pertti Paasio (1989–1991)
Preceded byKalevi Sorsa
Succeeded byEsko Aho
4th Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo
In office
25 August 2003 – 11 June 2004
Preceded byMichael Steiner
Succeeded bySøren Jessen-Petersen
Personal details
Born(1937-01-06)6 January 1937
Oripää, Finland
Died7 August 2011(2011-08-07) (aged 74)
Helsinki, Finland
Political partyNational Coalition Party of Finland
Spouse(s)Marja-Liisa Lepistö
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki
ProfessionMaster of Political Sciences

Domestic officesEdit

Harri Holkeri was member of the board of directors of the Bank of Finland from 1978–1997,[3] and candidate in the president elections of 1982 and 1988. He also served as a member of Parliament from 1970 to 1978 and as the chairman of the National Coalition (Conservative) Party from 1971 to 1979.[4] On 1 July 1991 he made the world's first GSM call. The historic call used Nokia gear on GSM's original 900 MHz band.


He chaired the United Nations General Assembly, 2000–2001. He also played a constructive role in securing the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.[5]


Honors and awardsEdit


Holkeri was awarded the highest Finnish honorary title of Counselor of State in 1998 by the President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.


Holkeri's efforts in Northern Ireland were rewarded with an honorary KBE from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[5]


  1. ^ "Harri Holkeri on kuollut". MTV3 (in Finnish). 7 August 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Ministerikortisto". Valtioneuvosto.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Board Members in the history of the Bank of Finland". Bank of Finland.
  4. ^ "What Where When – Citizen's Yearbook"/Mitä Missä Milloin – Kansalaisen vuosikirja, editions 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980; Otava Publications Ltd., Helsinki, Finland)
  5. ^ a b "Ex-PM Harri Holkeri dies at 74". YLE. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kalevi Sorsa
Prime Minister of Finland
Succeeded by
Esko Aho
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Theo-Ben Gurirab
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Han Seung-soo