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Edouard Brunner

Edouard Brunner

Swiss diplomat
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Swiss diplomat
Countries Switzerland
Occupations Diplomat
A.K.A. Edouard Brunner
Gender male
Birth February 24, 1932 (Istanbul)
Death June 24, 2007 (Canton of Vaud)
The details

Edouard Brunner (February 24, 1932 – June 25, 2007) was a Swiss diplomat, ambassador, and United Nations mediator of Bernese origin.

Brunner was born in Istanbul. A product of a diplomatic family, he studied law in Geneva and entered the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 1956. He began his diplomatic career with posts in Bogotá, Washington, D.C., Warsaw, The Hague, and the United Nations in New York City. In the 1960's he got married with Mirjam Rahola, they have three children's, two girls called Caroline and Irene and one boy called Mark. In the 1970s, Brunner participated in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe including the 1975 signing of the Helsinki Accords. In 1980, he returned to Berne to head the political division and, in 1984, was Secretary of State for Swiss Federal Council member Pierre Aubert and was second-in-command at the Swiss Foreign Ministry.

In 1984, Brunner was involved in secret talks held in Switzerland aimed at restoring ties between the United Kingdom and Argentina which were severed during the 1982 Falklands War. Brunner caused a stir in 2002 when his memoirs described U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as "vindictive" towards the newly-democratic Argentina during those 1984 talks.

From 1989 to 1993, Brunner served as Switzerland's Ambassador to the United States. In 1991, United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar named Brunner to be the U.N.'s envoy to the Middle East. In 1993 and 1994, Brunner led a successful U.N. mission to end the War in Abkhazia. He served as a diplomat for UNESCO from 1995 until his retirement in March 1997.

In 1998, when Swiss banks were being criticized for Holocaust-era conduct, Brunner briefly came out of retirement in order to improve the image of the banking system.

Edouard Brunner died from an illness at his home near Nyon on Lake Geneva.

His wife Mirjam died in the 2012 in Switzerland.

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