Gunnar Jarring

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Gunnar Jarring, 1933

Gunnar Valfrid Jarring (12 October 1907 – 29 May 2002) was a Swedish diplomat and Turkologist.

Jarring was born in Brunnby, Höganäs Municipality, Skåne County (then part of Malmöhus County), Sweden. He earned a Ph.D. from Lund University in 1933 with his dissertation Studien zu einer osttürkischen Lautlehre ("Studies in Eastern-Turkic Sound Science"). He taught Turkic languages at the university for the rest of the 1930s.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Jarring entered the Swedish diplomatic service and worked for the Swedish foreign service as attaché at their embassy in Ankara in 1940. He later held diplomatic positions in Teheran, Baghdad, and Addis Ababa, and was appointed Swedish minister to India in 1948, and then minister to Pakistan. After several other diplomatic missions, he was Sweden's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1956 to 1958, and sat in the Security Council for the last two of those years. He was ambassador to the United States from 1958 to 1964, and to the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1973. In that capacity he signed on behalf of his country on the Outer Space Treaty in January 1967.

After the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 242, Jarring was appointed by the UN Secretary-General U Thant as a special envoy for the Middle East peace process, the so-called Jarring Mission. Jarring's methods of negotiation were used unsuccessfully until the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Gunnar Jarring continued to publish studies on Eastern Turkic languages throughout his diplomatic career and after retirement. He is one of the few people to ever be mentioned by name in a United Nations Security Council Resolution, appearing in Resolution 331.

List of Publications[edit]


  • Gunnar Jarring. On The Distribution Of Turk Tribes In Afghanistan: An Attempt At A Preliminary Classification. Lund: Hakan Ohlsson, 1939.

Selected Articles[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Oscar Thorsing
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
1956 – 1958
Succeeded by
Agda Rössel
Preceded by
Erik Boheman
Ambassador to the United States
1958 – 1964
Succeeded by
Hubert de Besche
Preceded by
Ambassador to the Soviet Union
1964 – 1973
Succeeded by
Preceded by
UN Sec. Gen. Special Representative to the Middle East
1967 – 1991
Succeeded by
Edouard Brunner