Sven Alkalaj

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sven Alkalaj
Sven Alkalaj.jpg
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
In office
8 March 2012 – 8 April 2014
Preceded by Ján Kubiš
Succeeded by Christian Friis Bach
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 February 2007 – 10 February 2012
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Preceded by Mladen Ivanić
Succeeded by Zlatko Lagumdžija
Personal details
Born (1948-11-11) 11 November 1948 (age 67)
Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia
Citizenship  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Political party Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH)
Alma mater University of Sarajevo

Sven Alkalaj[pronunciation?] (born 11 November 1948) is a Bosnian diplomat who served as the country's Foreign Minister from 2007 to 2012 under Prime Minister Nikola Špirić. More recently, Alkalaj held the post of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe between 2012 and 2014. Alkalaj is one of the most prominent Bosnian Jews of Sephardic origin and is a longtime member of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH) led by Haris Silajdžić.


Alkalaj was born on 11 November 1948 in Sarajevo to a Sephardi Jewish father and Bosnian Croat Catholic mother.[1][2] He was raised Jewish.[3][4] His paternal family emigrated from Spain and settled in Sarajevo hundreds of years ago when they fled the Spanish inquisition.[4] Alkalaj graduated mechanical engineering at the University of Sarajevo in 1974. He returned to the university in 1987 and earned a degree in economics.



Alkalaj has been exposed to harsh criticism and requests for his resignation after it was published that he has received the Croatian citizenship in 2006 through his mother's lineage, Bosnian media reported.[1][5] On April 2, 2010, during a visit to Dublin for a meeting with the Irish foreign affairs minister Micheál Martin, Alkalaj declared to the press that Serbia should hand over Ratko Mladić to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.[6]


  1. ^ a b Zrinjski, Marijana (2007-11-05). "Ministar VP neće glasati na izborima u Hrvatskoj" (in Croatian). Nacional. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  2. ^ Rose, Jasmina (2009-06-30). "Bosni je potrebna EU i Amerika" (in Croatian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  3. ^ Perelman, Marc (2007-10-10). "Divided Bosnia Puts Forward a Jewish Face". The Forward. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ a b Franklin, Stephen (1995-04-08). "Jews, Muslims Come Together For Bosnia". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  5. ^ Jelić, Nikola (2007-08-24). "Ministar vanjskih poslova BiH ima hrvatsko državljanstvo" (in Croatian). Jutarnji list. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  6. ^ Bosnia calls for Serbia to hand over Ratko Mladić. Irish Times, April 4, 2010

External links[edit]