Alex Quaison-Sackey

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Hon.
Alex Quaison-Sackey
19th Session President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
1964–1965
Preceded by Carlos Sosa Rodriguez
Succeeded by Amintore Fanfani
2nd Ghana Permanent Representative to the United Nations
In office
30 June 1959 – 1965
President Kwame Nkrumah
Preceded by Daniel Chapman
Succeeded by Fred Arkurst
8th Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ghana)
In office
1965–1966
President Kwame Nkrumah
Preceded by Kojo Botsio
Succeeded by Lt Gen Joseph A Ankrah
Personal details
Born (1924-08-09)August 9, 1924
Winneba
Died December 21, 1992(1992-12-21) (aged 68)
Accra
Nationality Ghanaian
Political party Convention Peoples' Party
Spouse(s) Elsie Annie Blankson
Children Egya, Nana, Awo, Kweku Bondzie, Nenyi (Nii) and Yaaba
Residence Accra
Occupation Diplomat

Dr. Alex Quaison-Sackey (August 9, 1924 – December 21, 1992) was a Ghanaian diplomat who served during the first and third republics. He was the first black African to serve as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Early life and education[edit]

Quaison-Sackey was born at Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana.[1] He received his early education in Ghana at Mfantsipim at Cape Coast in the Central Region and Achimota College near Accra. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom, where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter College, Oxford University, graduating with an honours degree. He also studied international relations and international law at the London School of Economics after being appointed one of Ghana's first Foreign Service officers.[2]

Diplomatic Service[edit]

He served as Ghana's second ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations from 30 June 1959 to 1965.[3] He served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1964 to 1965, becoming the first black African to hold that position. During that time, Quaison-Sackey was also Ghana's ambassador to Cuba from 1961 to 1965 and ambassador to Mexico from 1962 to 1964. In 1965, he became foreign minister of Ghana, but served in that position for only a few months, as he was dismissed when President Nkrumah was overthrown in February 1966. He was again appointed as Ambassador to the United States in 1978 by the Supreme Military Council led by Lt. Gen. Fred Akuffo[1]

Politics[edit]

Quaison-Sackey was appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs in Kwame Nkrumah's Convention People's Party government. He was on a trip to Vietnam with Nkrumah when the government was overthrown by a military coup d'état leading to the formation of the National Liberation Council on 24 February 1966 led by Lt. General Joseph Arthur Ankrah.[1]

Death[edit]

Quaison-Sackey died at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra following a pulmonary embolism on 21 December 1992.[1]

Family[edit]

Quaison-Sackey's parents were Alex Emmanuel Sackey (1902–1972) and Alberta Quaison. He married Elsie Annie Blankson (1927–2003).[4] Together, they had six children, Egya, Nana, Awo, Kweku Bondzie and Nenyi (Nii) and Yaaba. Grandchildren, Kwesi Awenate, Kodwo, Nana, Egya and Selasie.

Publications[edit]

Quaison-Sackey later wrote about his experiences of diplomatic issues in Ghana's early days in a book called Africa Unbound: Reflections of an African Statesman, which was published by Praeger in May 1963.[5] In it he describes his concept of "Negritude" - "Acceptance and affirmation of the quality of blackness. It is a psychological gathering together of all black peoples in the spiritual bonds of brotherhood."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Alex Quaison-Sackey, Ghanaian Official, 68". Obituaries (New York Times). 1992-12-31. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  2. ^ "ALEX QUAISON-SACKEY (GHANA) ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE NINETEENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY". Biography on Official Website. United Nations. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  3. ^ "Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations - Past Ambassadors". United Nations. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  4. ^ "Alex Quaison Sackey". Genealogy. Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  5. ^ Quaison-Sackey, Alex (1963). Africa Unbound: Reflections of an African Statesman. New York: Praeger. p. 180. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  6. ^ Hellman, Geoffery T. (1963-08-03). "The Talk of the Town "Ambassador from Ghana"". archives (The New Yorker). Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Carlos Sosa Rodriguez
President of the United Nations General Assembly
1964–1965
Succeeded by
Amintore Fanfani
Preceded by
Daniel Chapman
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
1959 – 1965
Succeeded by
Fred Arkurst
Preceded by
Ambassador to Cuba
1961 – 1965
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ambassador to Mexico
1962– 1964
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ambassador to the United States
1978 – 1980
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Kojo Botsio
Foreign Minister
1965–1966
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. Joseph A. Ankrah