To which country did the first Secretary-General of the UN belong?
Norway is the First Secretary-General of the UN. Trygve Lie (16 July 1896 – 30 December 1968) was a Norwegian politician, labour leader, government official and author. He served as Norwegian foreign minister during the critical years of the Norwegian government in exile in London from 1940 to 1945. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations. Lie earned a reputation as a pragmatic, determined politician.
Lie led the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations conference in San Francisco in 1945 and was a leader in drafting the provisions of the United Nations Security Council. He was the leader of the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1946. On 1 February 1946, he was elected as the first Secretary-General of the United Nations as a result of a compromise between the major powers, having missed being elected President of the first General Assembly by only a small margin.
As Secretary-General, Lie supported the foundations of Israel and Indonesia. His passionate support for Israel included passing secret military and diplomatic information to Israeli officials. He sent 50 members of the United Nations guard force from Lake Success to assist the Mediator in supervising the Truce in the former British Mandate of Palestine in 1948 and the "UNTSO", the first peacekeeping operation was established by the United Nations. He worked for the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Iran and a ceasefire to fighting in Kashmir. He attracted the ire of the Soviet Union when he helped gather support for the defence of South Korea after it was invaded in 1950 and later worked to end the Soviet boycott of UN meetings, though his involvement had little to do with the eventual return of the Soviet Union to the UN. He was opposed to Spain's entry into the United Nations because of his opposition to Francisco Franco's government.
He also sought to have the People's Republic of China recognized by the United Nations after the Nationalist government was exiled to Taiwan, arguing that the People's Republic was the only government that could fulfill the membership obligations in full.
He has been criticized for his failures to facilitate negotiation in the Berlin Blockade, as well as his failure to bring about a swifter end to the Korean War. His critics argue that he was under the influence of a select few in the UN Secretariat. He has also been criticized for his arrogance and stubbornness.[
On 1 November 1950, over objections from the Soviet Union, the UN General Assembly voted by 46 votes to 5 (and 8 abstentions) to extend Lie's term of office. The vote was a consequence of an impasse in the Security Council in which the Soviet Union refused to consider Lie due to his involvement in the Korean War, while the US refused to accept any candidate except Lie. The Soviet Union subsequently refused to acknowledge Lie as Secretary-General and, having been accused by Joseph McCarthy of hiring "disloyal" Americans – an allegation that he attributed to the pressing need for civil servants following the establishment of the UN – Lie resigned on 10 November 1952.
The UN came under US official scrutiny after the conviction of Alger Hiss, who had served as acting Secretary General at the first convening of the UN in San Francisco (in 1945). A State Department report dated 17 January 1951, states:
Subject: McCarran Act—Possible Conflict with Headquarters Agreement
In conversation with Abe Feller in New York recently he expressed the view that the regulations which have been issued under the McCarran Act make it fairly clear to him that there is likely to be some conflict between that Act and the way in which it is being interpreted and the Headquarters Agreement. He expressed the view that in the event of such conflict the UN secretariat would be forced to resort to the arbitration procedure under the Agreement. He stated he thought this would be very unfortunate and wondered whether any consideration was being given to a general amendment to the McCarran Act which would waive its provisions so far as it conflicted with international obligations or international agreements. I told him I did not know whether any amendments were under consideration but that I would bring his view to your attention.
Abraham Feller, General Counsel and Principal Director, Legal Department, United Nations Secretariat, was "reportedly" a "close friend" of Alger Hiss. On 14 November 1952, just days after Lie's resignation from the UN, Feller committed suicide by jumping out of the window of his apartment in New York City.