Harri Holkeri

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Valtioneuvos (Counselor of State)
Harri Holkeri
Prime Minister of Finland
In office
April 30, 1987 – April 26, 1991
President Mauno Koivisto
Deputy Kalevi Sorsa (1987–1989)
Pertti Paasio (1989–1991)
Preceded by Kalevi Sorsa
Succeeded by Esko Aho
Personal details
Born (1937-01-06)January 6, 1937
Oripää, Finland
Died August 7, 2011(2011-08-07) (aged 74)
Helsinki, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Political party National Coalition Party of Finland
Spouse(s) Marja-Liisa Lepistö
Alma mater University of Helsinki
Profession Master of Political Sciences

Harri Hermanni Holkeri KBE (Hon) (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhɑrːi ˈhermɑnːi ˈholkeri]) (January 6, 1937 – August 7, 2011)[1] was a Finnish statesman representing the National Coalition Party of Finland (Kokoomus / Samlingspartiet). He was the Prime Minister of Finland 1987–1991,[2] speaker of the UN General Assembly 2000–2001 and headed the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo from 2003- 2004 (leaving the position in the spring of the second year because of health issues).

Domestic offices[edit]

Harri Holkeri was member of the board of directors of the Bank of Finland from 1978–97, and candidate in the president elections of 1982 and 1988. He also served as a member of Parliament from 1970 to 1978 and as the chairman of the National Coalition (Conservative) Party from 1971 to 1979.[3] On July 1, 1991, he made the world's first GSM call. The historic call used Nokia gear on GSM's original 900MHz band.


He chaired the United Nations General Assembly, 2000–2001. He also played a constructive role in securing the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.[4]

Honors and awards[edit]


Holkeri was awarded the highest Finnish honorary title of Valtioneuvos (Counselor of State) in 1998 by the President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.


Holkeri's efforts in Northern Ireland were rewarded with an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[4]


  1. ^ "Harri Holkeri on kuollpt". MTV3 (in Finnish). 7 August 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ministerikortisto". Valtioneuvosto. 
  3. ^ "What Where When – Citizen's Yearbook"/Mitä Missä Milloin – Kansalaisen vuosikirja, editions 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980; Otava Publications Ltd., Helsinki, Finland)
  4. ^ a b "Ex-PM Harri Holkeri dies at 74". YLE. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kalevi Sorsa
Prime Minister of Finland
Succeeded by
Esko Aho
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Theo-Ben Gurirab
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Han Seung-soo