Krzysztof Skubiszewski

Krzysztof Jan Skubiszewski [ˈkʂɨʂtɔf skubʲiˈʂɛfskʲi] (About this soundlisten) (8 October 1926 – 8 February 2010) was a Polish politician, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989–1993) and an established scholar in the field of international law.

Krzysztof Skubiszewski
Krzysztof Skubiszewski 2005.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 September 1989 – 26 October 1993
Prime MinisterTadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Jan Olszewski, Hanna Suchocka
Preceded byTadeusz Olechowski
Succeeded byAndrzej Olechowski
Personal details
Born(1926-10-08)8 October 1926
Poznań, Poland
Died8 February 2010(2010-02-08) (aged 83)
Warsaw, Poland
Political partyindependent

Early life and educationEdit

Skubiszewski was born in Poznań on 8 October 1926.[1] He attended high school in Warsaw.[2] He held a law degree, which he received from Poznan University.[1] He also attended Harvard University and Nancy University in France for postgraduate studies.[1] He graduated from Harvard University in 1958.[2]


Skubiszewski taught international law at this alma mater, Poznan University.[1] He was an expert on Polish-German relations.[2] He was a member of the Curatorium of The Hague Academy of International Law. He was a pioneer in scholarship on the law-making authority of international organizations.[3] During the communist regime in the country he was an active member of the Solidarity movement.[4][5]

After the fall of communism, he served in the successive cabinets of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Jan Olszewski and Hanna Suchocka and was the first minister of foreign affairs of the Third Republic of Poland.[6][7] He was in office from 12 September 1989 to 26 October 1993.[8] In 1992, Skubiszewski, together with 9 other ministers of foreign affairs from the Baltic Sea area, and an EU commissioner, founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the EuroFaculty.[9]

He was awarded with the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest state decoration. In 1993, he was appointed an ad hoc judge in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.[10] An acclaimed international lawyer, he served as the president of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal there from 16 February 1994 until his death. In 2006 he was awarded by the French-German-Polish for French-German-Polish Committee together with the other two Co-Founders of the Weimar Triangle, the former Foreign Ministers Hans-Dietrich Genscher und Roland Dumas, the Adam-Mickiewicz Prize. together[10][11]

Death and legacyEdit

Skubiszewski died on 8 February 2010 at the age of 83.[1] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland initiated a scholarship and a research grant for the candidates from Central Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States, Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus for his memory in 2013.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e Adamowski, Jaroslaw (9 February 2010). "Krzysztof Skubiszewski obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Bacon, Katie (Summer 2010). "Straddling the Gap Between East and West". HLS Bulletin. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ Skubiszewski, Krzysztof (1964). "Forms of Participation of International Organizations in the Lawmaking Processes". International Organization. 18: 790.
  4. ^ Korczyńska, Emilia (8 February 2010). "Former Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski passes away". Warsaw Business Journal. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  5. ^ Ellenbogen, Marc S. (9 February 2010). "One by One They Just Fade Away". Global Panel Foundation. The Hague. UPI. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Farewell to Krzysztof Skubiszewski". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  7. ^ John Tagliabue (8 September 1989). "Polish Cabinet Pact: 9 Posts to Solidarity and 4 to Communists". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Polish ministries". Rulers. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  9. ^ Kristensen, Gustav N. 2010. Born into a Dream. EuroFaculty and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Berliner Wissentshafts-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8305-1769-6.
  10. ^ a b Adamowski, Jaroslaw (8 March 2010). "Steadied Poland in the post-communist turbulence". The Age. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Krzysztof Skubiszewski passed away". Baltic Development Forum. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  12. ^ "The Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship and Research Grant 2013". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 June 2013.