Imre Hollai

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Imre Hollai
Hollai Imre.jpg
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
Preceded byIsmat T. Kittani
Succeeded byJorge Illueca
Personal details
Born(1925-01-22)22 January 1925
Újpest, Hungary
Died22 November 2017(2017-11-22) (aged 92)
Budapest, Hungary[citation needed]
Political partyMKP (1945–48)
MDP (1948–56)
MSZMP (1956–89)
Margit Fejes (m. 1949)

Imre Hollai (Hungarian: Hollai Imre; 22 January 1925 – 22 November 2017) was a Hungarian diplomat and politician, who served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1982-83, during its thirty-seventh session.


Imre Hollai was born in Újpest (today a district of Budapest) on 22 January 1925 as the son of Béla Hollai and Emma Putz. He joined the Hungarian Communist Party (MKP) in 1945. A mechanist by profession, Hollai joined the Hungarian foreign service in 1949. He graduated from the Lenin Institute of the Eötvös Loránd University in 1952. Meanwhile, he served as political adviser then deputy head of the Department for International Relations of the Central Leadership of the Hungarian Working People's Party (MDP) from 1949 to 1955.[1]

While also being a state security officer,[1] Hollai functioned as Hungary's Deputy Representative to the United Nations from 1955 to 1960,[2] residing in New York City. Returning home, he was head of foreign relations for the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP) from 1960 to 1963.[1] Following that he served as Hungarian Ambassador to Greece and Cyprus from 1964 to 1970,[3] and as Hungary's Deputy Foreign Minister from 1970-74.

He served as Hungary's Ambassador to the United Nations from 1974 to 1980[4] and as Hungary's Deputy Foreign Minister again from 1980 until 1984. While in this position, he served as President of the United Nations General Assembly[5] from 1982-83. Due to his great success in this role and popularity among his peers in international diplomatic circles due to his charismatic intelligence he was seen as a threat to the rigid communists in the Hungarian hierarchy and forced to return as ambassador to his earlier post in Greece and Cyprus in 1984.[3]

He retired from the diplomatic service on 28 February 1989.[1] However, he had been an active member of the Council of Presidents of the General Assembly, the body informally advising the General Secretary of the United Nations. Hollai died on 22 November 2017, aged 92.[6]

Decorations and awards[edit]

  • Golden Class of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian People's Republic (1951)
  • Order of Labour (1955)
  • Bronze Class of the Order of the Hungarian Freedom (1957)
  • Commemorative Medal of Liberation (1970)
  • Royal Order of George I (1973)
  • Order of Labour, Golden Class (1975)
  • Order "For Socialist Hungary" (1983)


  • Hollai, Imre (2010). Út az elnökséghez [The Road To Presidency] (in Hungarian). Ad Librum Kiadó. ISBN 978-615-501-456-7.


  1. ^ a b c d Baráth & Gecsényi 2015, p. 187.
  2. ^ Elected President of the thirty-seventh session of the General Assembly
  3. ^ a b Baráth & Gecsényi 2015, p. 100.
  4. ^ Baráth & Gecsényi 2015, p. 128.
  5. ^ "Attempt to honor Columbus sparks stormy argument in U. N." Lewiston Tribune. 1 December 1982. p. 6A. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Elhunyt Hollai Imre" (html) (in Hungarian). Népszava. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.


  • Baráth, Magdolna; Gecsényi, Lajos, eds. (2015). Főkonzulok, követek és nagykövetek 1945–1990 [Consuls General, Envoys, Ambassadors 1945–1990] (in Hungarian). MTA Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont. ISBN 978-963-416-007-6.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Vencel Házi
Hungarian Ambassador to Greece
Succeeded by
Béla Szilágyi
Preceded by
Károly Szarka
Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Pál Rácz
Preceded by
Ismat T. Kittani
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Jorge Illueca
Preceded by
István Dobos
Hungarian Ambassador to Greece
Succeeded by
László Kincses