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He studied law at the University of Vienna and became a Doctor of Laws in 1960. He attended the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium 1961-62 (Gottfried Leibniz Promotion), and joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1963. From 1977 to 1981, he was Director at the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General. He was Director of the Department for International Organisations in the Austrian foreign ministry 1982-85, Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay 1985-89, Director of the Department for Central-, East- and South-East Europe 1990-95, Deputy Director-General for Political Affairs 1993-95, National Coordinator for the Central European Initiative 1994-95 and Secretary General for Foreign Affairs (i.e. Permanent Secretary) 1996-2001.
He is President of the Austro-American Society and the Austrian Society for European Policies. He was appointed United Nations Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Future Status Process for Kosovo in 2005. He is a member of the Independent Commission on Turkey.
- Diplomat am Rande der Weltpolitik. Begegnungen, Beobachtungen, Erkenntnisse. Molden, Wien 2002, ISBN 3-85485-079-4.