Östen Undén

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Östen Undén
Minister of Justice
In office
10 March 1920 – 30 June 1920
Prime MinisterHjalmar Branting
Preceded byEliel Löfgren
Succeeded byAssar Åkerman
Prime Minister of Sweden
In office
6 October 1946 – 11 October 1946
MonarchGustaf V
Preceded byPer Albin Hansson
Succeeded byTage Erlander
Personal details
Born(1886-08-25)25 August 1886
Karlstad, Sweden
Died14 January 1974(1974-01-14) (aged 87)
Bromma, Sweden
Political partySocial Democrats

Bo Östen Undén (25 August 1886 – 14 January 1974) was a

Social Democratic politician who served as acting Prime Minister of Sweden 6–11 October 1946, following the death of Per Albin Hansson (1885-1946).[1][2]


In 1917, he was appointed professor and head of the department of

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden 1924–1926 and 1945–1962,[3] minister without portfolio 1917–1920 and 1932–1936, the government's chancellor for universities 1937–1951, and he chaired the parliament's committee on foreign relations during World War II.[4]

In 1930–33, as a League of Nations arbiter, Undén ruled in favour of Bulgaria in a dispute with Greece regarding the ownership of 19 forests in the Dospat region of southwestern Bulgaria. In 1936, the summit of Dikchan (1,966 m (6,450 ft)) in the surrounding Rhodope Mountains was named Unden Peak or Professor Unden Peak after the Swedish arbiter. A bronze memorial plate featuring the Bulgarian and Swedish coats of arms and an inscription regarding the name's origin were placed on top of the peak.[5]

Östen Undén was much respected, particularly within the Social Democratic Party, but was never uncontroversial. He belonged, together with Ernst Wigforss (1881–1977) clearly to the left-wing faction of the Social Democrats, and has in retrospect been criticised for a much too rosy view of the Soviet Union that remained for all of his time as Foreign Minister, ending in 1962.[6]

At the same time, Undén must be acknowledged as a chief representative for Sweden's covert

embargo policy from the Korean War.[7]

In 1961, his "Undén Proposal" argued that states without

UN resolution with 58 votes in favour (Scandinavia, Warsaw pact, third world countries), 10 votes against (NATO members) and 23 votes of abstention (Latin America, former French colonies in Africa).[8]


  1. ^ "Östen Undén (6 Oct 1946 – 11 Oct 1946)" (in Swedish). World Statesmen. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Per Albin Hansson". NE Nationalencyklopedin. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. ^ E. Luther Johnson (1966). Freedom from alliances: Contemporary Swedish views towards international relations (PhD thesis). The American University. p. 17.
  4. ^ "Östen Undén". NE Nationalencyklopedin AB. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Шведският професор, който спаси част от Родопите, а български връх носи името му". Dnes.dir.bg. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  6. ^ "Ernst Wigforss". NE Nationalencyklopedin AB. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Östen Undén (1886-1974)". nationalmuseum. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  8. ^ Katarina Brodin. "The Undén Proposal". Cooperation and Conflict. Volume 1, Number 4 pp. 18-29. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Justice
Succeeded by
Preceded by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Acting Prime Minister of Sweden

Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Rector of Uppsala University
1928 – 1932
Succeeded by