History Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey, first black African to serve as...

Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey, first black African to serve as President of the General Assembly of the UN

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Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey, the first diplomat from a black African nation to serve as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was a Ghanaian diplomat who served during the first and third republics.

Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey
(Original Caption) U. S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson congratulated new U.N. General Assembly President Alex Quaison Sackey of Ghana, after his election December 1st. The General Assembly averted a showdown on Russia’s right to vote by simply electing its president on the basis of “no objection” from the membership, which now totals 115 countries.

Born in August 9, 1924  at Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey received his early education in Ghana at Mfantsipim and was politically active as an undergraduate at Achimota College, near Accra, from which he graduated in 1948, and while earning an honor’s degree at Oxford University in 1952.

Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey was a diplomatic troubleshooter for Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, from the moment of Ghana’s independence in 1957. He was First Secretary at the Ghana High Commission from 1957 to 1959 and served as the country’s representative at the United Nations from 1959 to 1965. He was also Ghana’s ambassador to Cuba from 1961 to 1965 and ambassador to Mexico from 1962 to 1964. He served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1964 to 1965, becoming the first diplomat from a black African nation to hold that position. In 1965, he became foreign minister of Ghana, but served in that position for only a few months, as he was dismissed when President Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in February 1966.

Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey
Alex Quasion-Sackey at UN for opening of 1964-65 General Assembly Session. (Photo by Al Fenn/Getty Images)

Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey remained close to President Kwame Nkrumah and was with him on a peace mission in Vietnam in February 1966, when the Nkrumah Government was overthrown by the army.

Quaison-Sackey died at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra following a pulmonary embolism on 28 December 1992.

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